This has been a particularly active storm season here in the midwest (continued thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the Moore, OK tornado). Just looking at our forecast for this week alone is enough to make a person a little anxious; strong/severe storms and heightened tornado risk for the ENTIRE week. (It is going to be a loooong week!)
As storm season gets started it is time to re-visit our needs for our preparedness kit. It is also time to get the basement storage area re-organized so that we have a place to hunker down if the need arises. Our basement is a walkout, so we have a designated corner area on the backside that is away from the door and windows. Each spring I make sure the area is picked up and that supplies are checked and moved to our corner.
Here is what our space looks like:
I keep a deflated air mattress on the floor so that we have something other than the concrete floor to sit on. This is also where we keep our sleeping bags and a couple of old comforters (they are always in this area, so no need to hunt them down every year). Against the wall is our old mattress from when we upgraded last year. This can be easily pulled down over the top of us for protection from debris, if necessary). We also keep the cat's crate down here, and every year we fill up a small plastic storage container with fresh food and place it inside the crate so it is ready. (I will note that we tend to put the cat in his crate if it is starting to look like a tornado warning is imminent, that way he is already contained in the basement, and I don't have to do a mad dash around the house looking for him.)
So, what does our kit look like, and what all is in it?
Inside this box is a pair of shoes and socks for each of us along with a jacket for everyone as well. There is also a box of snacks, a crank flashlight, extra weather radio, spare batteries for the weather radio and a first aid kit. There is space left in here for me to toss my purse in here if we do need to take cover. Did you notice what we had on top of the cat carrier? We move the boys' bicycle helmets to the basement if severe weather is headed our way, that way their noggins can be protected if stuff starts flying.
If severe weather is expected overnight, I put my purse right at the top of the stairs so I can grab it on our way down. I put my camera and the boys' asthma and allergy meds in my purse too. One other important thing to think of too is making sure your phone is charged before the weather turns bad. That way you can potentially still have access to weather updates or call or text if needed. We have signed up for text alerts from the national weather service and a local news channel as a back up to our weather radio.
Do you have a severe weather preparedness kit in your home? What essentials do you keep in your kit?