Staying prepared for the potential of severe weather

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Leaders with the Red Cross say it’s important to have a plan when disaster strikes and a key component to that plan is an emergency preparedness kit. These kits can provide life saving items that could prove crucial when you need them. It takes little time to put the kit together yourself but you can buy one that’s pre-assembled for you.

“Making sure that you have a kit will help you whether any kind of storm. Having those kits not only at your home but also in your vehicle so if you have to evacuate you’ve got those essentials that are needed,” said Regional CEO for the American Red Cross, Erica Mani.

These kits can consist of many items such as flashlights and a radio, but most importantly food and water. You can buy pre-made kits from the Red Cross or you can even buy your own items to assemble a kit that fits the needs of your household.

“Making sure that you have medications and several days worth of those medications that are critical for you, your family and your pets. Having enough water so that each member of your family can have a gallon of water per day. Making sure that there are non-perishable food items,” said Mani.

Besides having an emergency preparedness kit on standby there are some other things you can do to stay safe during any severe weather. It begins by identifying a safe place in your home. That spot needs to be away from windows. If you’re not at home when severe weather strikes, to avoid water-covered roadways and be on the lookout for downed power lines. A local fire captain shares his advice.

“If you’re away from your home I would go to a large business like the mall would be a good example. You’ve got a large enough structure you’ve got some structure stability. If you’re at home and you get a tornado warning or situation go to your basement. If you don’t have a basement a bathroom is a good place for it,” said Captain David Thompson Jr. with the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Dept.

Experts suggest putting together a kit with at least 3 days of supplies, but add that it’s your safest bet to have a weeks supply of food and water to be ready for any emergency.

The Red Cross is also seeking volunteers to help with events like disaster relief. If you’re interested in being a volunteer you can cal 1-800-RED-CROSS ( 1-800-733-2767).

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