How do you prepare for bad storms?

Jennifer - posted on 03/23/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Where I live, spring means severe thunderstorms and possible tornados. Though we don't get too many tornados here, they still can and do happen. I myself am terrified of storms, and though I try not to show it, I'm sure my kids sense it. Because of my fear, when severe storms are predicted, I usually pack a bag in case we have to head to the basement. Usually in the bag is a bottle or 2 of water, bottles and formula for my daughter, some snacks, a couple diapers and wipes, a couple thin blankets, a couple flashlights (or 1 with extra batteries), and a battery powered radio. Sometimes, even if there is only a severe thunderstorm warning and not a tornado warning, I will make the kids head to the basement anyway, because if I'm home alone with them, it takes a really long time for me to get all 4 down there, and I'm scared I wouldn't have enough time to get everyone safe if it did change to a tornado warning. How many other moms prepare like this, or do even more?

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Like Krista, we are always prepared for a hurricane. I'm in south Louisiana; we have to be prepared. :/

During hurricane season we keep 1-2 cases of bottled water on hand. We have a camping stove and fuel and a nice little stash of canned soup. We also have flashlights, a battery powered radio and extra batteries handy at all times. Some people keep generators, but we don't have one. It's a good idea to keep extra gasoline for your car. During storms many gas stations shut down.

Now for a tornado, all I can say is get downstairs as quickly as possible. We don't have basements here (not possible, below sea level). But my aunt's home was just destroyed by a tornado. She and her grandson heard the "train" and jumped into the bathtub together. That saved their lives.

My best advice is to keep what you would need in the basement. Just go buy extra bottled water, diapers, batteries, flashlights, etc. and keep it all down there. Perhaps practice getting to the basement with your kids. Make a game of it...who can get to the basement the quickest? Time them. Get them used to going down there. If the time comes when you really need them to go down there, they'll know exactly what to do. And if supplies are already stored down there, you won't have to spend time gathering them.

JuLeah - posted on 03/24/2011

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Think about what you can control and what you can't. Sometimes we get so freaked out about something we lessen our ability to deal if it even happens .... if it doesn't happen, we have added stress and worry to our live, our kids, and our home for .... what?
No one can perdict what will happen five minutes from now, so just trust that whatever does you will handle and deal with. IF a tonnado warning sounds, head for the basement .... IF a severe thrunder storm is upon you, make sure you knwo where the candles are ... other then that, don't stress ... make it a game if you can so you don't freak the children out. I read a story, a childhood memory. There was a severe storm roaring through their valley and the house was hit hard ... one parent, 9 or 10 children .... no protection really, no cover ... kids were not frightened at all. Mom said, "Let's play a game. Let's peretend we are caught in a storm, come on everyone, hide behind the couch from the wind, come on, hold on to the little ones ...."
Mom kept that up for the duration and the little kids actually had fun. The older kids knew they were all in real danger, but were calmed by mom's approach and played along. The woman writing the story was young and didn't understand until much later how much danger they had all really been in ... but, she wrote, she learned to deal with life from her mother, so she makes all challenges a game when she can.

Krista - posted on 03/23/2011

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We have a Rubbermaid tub always packed with a camp stove and fuel, a first-aid kit, dehydrated camping meals, a hand-crank radio and flashlight, batteries (which we refresh periodically), bottled water (ditto), emergency blankets, matches, and cash.

It seems extreme, but after we were hit by Hurricane Juan, a lot of people were without power for the better part of a week, and we saw how woefully unprepared most people are.

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Laura - posted on 03/24/2011

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I'm a little more worried about storms now that I have kids. I'm from SD and have grown up with storms. We actually watch 3 tornadoes go by our hometown when I was a kid.

I would say just keep your supplies in the basement instead of just in a bag. And get a weather radio, they are the best at alerting you about warnings and will absolutely wake you up in the middle of the night.

Krista - posted on 03/24/2011

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Sara makes a good point about gas for the car. And I do want to remind people that cash is a must. After Juan, none of the ATMs were working. Some stores were open (they were trying to get rid of things before they spoiled), but they were only taking cash, due to their credit and debit card machines being down. A lot of people were in a really tight spot because of that.

Joy - posted on 03/24/2011

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One time we were on vacation, and we were in a terrible storm in the night all the kids woke up. My son that was 6 said where does lightning come from? My husband quickly thought up a funny . He said, God is taking your picture. It flashed again and my son said awe man I didnt smile. So maybe try to make it fun some how. Im usually not scared of storms but that night I was so that really helped .

Jennifer - posted on 03/24/2011

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Katherine, I live in Ohio. It's not exactly tornado ally, but there were three tornados last year that hit close to home. I live far in the country, down in a little valley, that if a tornado would find it's way here, it would tear everything up!

Sara - I always prepare the stuff a day or morning before, because I'm always watching the weather forcast to see if we need to have things ready. Then, I usually keep it in my diaper bag right beside the basement door, so no gathering at the last minute, just a quick grab as we head down. I've tried having "tornado drills" with the kids, and it all goes ok when my older two are home from school, but most of the time it is just me, my son who just turned 3, and my almost 6 mo old. The one time, I was using the bathroom when we had a tornado warning come up, and I tried to get the three year old, who's scared of the basement if he's by himself, to head down without me, but he wouldn't, and by the time I ran to my daughter's room to get her out of the crib and get him to actually walk down the steps, it took a good 3-5min.

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

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We don't prepare for storms here lol just floods. We put all the birth and marriage certs in a plastic ziplock bag up high and anything valuable up high and purchase lots of food. Bahahaha!

Amber - posted on 03/23/2011

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I'm always prepared also. I live in the country and we lose power a lot out here and occasionally get tornadoes. Trees are constantly down and we're waiting to get on the roads.

We have a generator if we're able to be upstairs. We also have supplies stored in the basement. There is water (several gallons), dehydrated food, canned foods, crackers, flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, radio, and extra blankets. Our family room and office are in the basement so there are games and things down there already.
I make sure to check the expiration dates and rotate the food out if it's going to expire soon.

Since our family room is downstairs, we just go downstairs when the weather seems bad and my son doesn't think it's anything different.

Jenn - posted on 03/23/2011

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We get tornadoes around here on occasion. I can't say I've ever done anything to prepare. If there was ever a warning, I would just take the kids downstairs into the cold storage room as that would be the safest place to be.

Katherine - posted on 03/23/2011

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Where do you live? In MI we just go to the basement. I never thought to actually bring anything. It doesn't last too long here anyways, and like where you live tornadoes aren't that common. Well they are, but luckily we've never had to deal with it.
I guess I better consider doing those things, it would certainly behoove me. I didn't have kids either, so now that you mention it, it's a pretty good idea.

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