Every year, it seems that there’s an increase in severe weather events across the country. Whether it’s raging wildfires in California, whiteout blizzards in the mountains, devastating twisters in cyclone alley or hurricanes on the Atlantic coast, homeowners across the U.S. must be aware of potential threats.
Many homeowners try to be prepared by having a severe weather survival kit on hand to help protect their home, their family and their property. If you’re looking to gather survival supplies, here are five essentials that provide a great start.
Most homeowners are used to turning the faucet and having access to instant clean water. But what happens when that access is disrupted for you and your neighbors? Water is essential for life, so make sure you plan ahead.
When storms hit, it can be days or sometimes even weeks before homes get water systems back online. Try to have one gallon of water on hand per person per day and maintain a three-day emergency supply. If you don’t have water ready and a major storm threatens access, fill your sinks and bathtubs before the water supply is cut to have something for your family to drink.
Just like water, it is recommended to have a three-day supply of food on hand for unexpected emergencies. Make sure the food supply you store can withstand prolonged power outages. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends stocking canned foods, dry mixes and other food items that do not require refrigeration, cooking or water for preparation.
Examples of good food to have on hand are canned meats, peanut butter, cereals or granola, protein bars, powdered milk and essentials needed for infants. Remember to store utensils, dishes, a can opener or other items as needed.
3. Medication and First Aid
Today, over 44 percent of Americans take prescription medications — many of which are life-saving drugs that need to be taken daily. In addition, severe weather can impact people’s health and wellness — even for those who don’t rely on prescriptions. Homeowners should make sure they have a stock of prescriptions and essential medications for all members of their family in case there is a long-term supply disruption, in addition to a well-stocked first aid kit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, homeowners should start an emergency stockpile of medications if possible, store them in labeled child-proof containers, ensure they are stored in a proper environment and replace them regularly to avoid expiration.
When storms hit, everything is disrupted. Often that means power can be down for days or even weeks as a result of downed electrical lines or emergency precautions. Homeowners should consider investing in a backup generator for these types of disruptions. Everything in the home — from air conditioning and kitchen appliances to heating and security systems — runs on electricity. Additionally, communicating with phones, internet or radios becomes more difficult without power.
If you do choose to purchase a generator, remember to have it installed by a professional electrician to ensure it is correctly connected to your home. Also remember that generators should never be run indoors.
5. Weather Monitor
While it’s critical to have supplies on hand for the moment after a disaster strikes, being aware of emerging weather threats ahead of time can be key to protecting your home, family and property. Today, state of the art weather stations, like the AcuRite Atlas™, are affordable for all and can help homeowners stay safe by identifying dangerous weather early and keep track of storms as they pass. If the power goes out, your AcuRite Access will continue to store data for 12 hours with the battery backup.
Weather stations at home can now monitor lightning strikes, wind gusts and rainfall while also connecting to mobile devices, allowing for remote notifications. When extreme weather hits, being aware and prepared can make all the difference.