Categories: Serving Communities

9 tips to help stay safe during a disaster

Every day, people spend time preparing for an upcoming event – from something as simple as getting ready for work to something more detailed like planning a vacation. But when it comes to severe weather, many don’t think about the importance of preparing until it’s too late.

Disasters like tornadoes can occur at any time across the country, so it’s important to know what to do in case a disaster occurs in your area.

This year, tornadoes have already caused significant damage in several states, with experts calling it the worst start to tornado season since 2012. Lowe’s has worked together with the American Red Cross since 1999, contributing more than $28 million toward disaster relief efforts to help the Red Cross provide support services, meals and snacks to impacted communities.

“It’s imperative that people take the necessary steps to protect themselves before a major disaster occurs. Red Cross volunteers work every day to help ensure communities at risk for tornadoes are prepared,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president of disaster cycle services at the Red Cross. “Donations from donors like Lowe’s enable the Red Cross to help individuals and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises.”

Typically, the arrival of spring ushers in the height of tornado season. To help get you prepared, the Red Cross has some simple but important tips to follow.

1. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for mobile devices. This app shares information about what you need to know to help stay safe in a tornado.

2. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit.

3. Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

4. Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

5. Educate your family on what to do and where to go if an event occurs.

6. Know the tornado danger signs – dark, often greenish clouds, a wall cloud, cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise.

7. Pick a safe room in your home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way, such as the basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

8. Prepare for strong winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees to help prevent injuries and property damage.

9. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

For more on how to prepare for a disaster, visit redcross.org.