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Tornado Survival

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Growing up deep in the heart of Alabama tornado warnings were something just to expect.  The sound of warning sirens became the norm and something that people began to shrug off….that was until  April 8th, 1998.  That day an EF-5 touched down in the suburbs of Birmingham and stayed on the ground for 31 miles, causing utter destruction in its path.  After that day, tornado warnings became a very serious matter.  That day helped many to prepare and heed warning for what was to come last year on April 27th when a massive outbreak of tornadoes swarmed the south killing 346 people.

Looking into the eye of the storm you might feel helpless and a bit puzzled at what you need or will need.  Natalie and I decided that it was time to write a post of preparedness.  I’ve had this on the back-burner and have been a little lazy getting it out.  However, today of all days I figured it was time.  Today the south once again faces a possibility for a severe weather outbreak.  The weatherman is predicting a PDS (particularly dangerous situation) for tornadoes EF-2 to EF-5. 

My question is to you:  Do you have a survival kit?

After the EF-4 that ripped through my home town last year, my family and I loaded up supplies and drove down to help.  Here are a few tips and supplies that people in the storm had or needed.  You can be as in-depth as you would like or just pack the basics. 

  1. cell phones & chargers
  2. first aid kit
  3. flash lights & batteries
  4. bike helmets or motorcycle helmets
  5. blankets
  6. change of clothing
  7. water and some non-perishable food items
  8. sunscreen/bug spray
  9. hammer, crow bar
  10. a whistle
  11. small radio
  12. plastic bags
  13. can opener
  14. money (or your purse/wallet)
  15. medicines
  16. spare keys to your car or home
  17. pet food
  18. matches or lighter
  19. small toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, etc…)
  20. baby wipes

I know that this may seem like a lot of things to gather, but when you are left with nothing these items become gold.  I have placed my items into a large plastic container that has a lid and it is now sitting in my shelter.

Now when it comes to your shelter you want to make sure you are on the lowest level of where you are and away from windows.  I have chosen a closet in my basement that is in the very back corner of my house.  If there is no lower level, then you want to be in the center of your house in a small area.  Put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.  Preferably in a closet, under stairs, bathtub, etc…  You also need to let someone know where your shelter is and where you will be, just in case you become trapped. Remember that the number one cause of death and injury comes from flying debris.

I hope this has helped some of you and I pray we never have to use our kits!  It’s always good to be prepared!


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