Thunderstorms. High winds. Flooding. Hail. Funnel clouds.
These are all things Iowans are familiar with - and this week gives us an opportunity to take a closer look at being prepared for emergency situations.
Today, many of us may have participated in the 10 a.m. statewide tornado drill. This allows us to carry out specific disaster plan at our homes and businesses, however it is just a start to preparing a game plan to handle what Mother Nature throws our way.
This week we should all take a moment to talk to our families about an emergency plan. Children must be made aware of evacuation plans, whom to contact should the family be separated during an emergency and when to call 911.
Likewise, weather radios should be programmed. Weather radios broadcast official weather warnings, watches and forecasts 24/7. It's a good idea to program your radio to the area to pick up warnings and watches.
Flashlights, smoke alarms, first aid kits should all be readied in our homes in businesses.
Iowa Homeland Security recommends families build an emergency supply kit including the following items:
Water and non-perishable food for each person for three to five days
First aid kit
Battery operated flashlight and radio, with extra batteries
Extra clothing and bedding
Personal hygiene items
Prescription medications, baby formula, diapers and pet supplies
Plates, cups, utensils and can opener
Copies of important documents such as driver's license, birth certificates, insurance policies and financial information
We never expect severe weather to directly impact our homes or businesses. Being prepared for the unforeseen isn't something we should take lightly. This week please take an opportunity to communicate, prepare and practice your plans to stay safe when severe weather strikes.