Spring Storm Planning by Lion Dale Softley, MD38 Alert Chairman
With approaching spring storms now is a time to examine your home and community safety plan. First, each Lion family needs to have a NOAA approved weather radio, this is the best way to get an alert warning as to what is going on. There are also several applications for smart phones that will work in lieu of a weather radio. The outdoor warning sirens are not intended to warn people inside nor wake you up in the middle of the night. The development of a personal and family emergency action plan is very important. Once people are scattered about a community following a disaster many have no idea what their next steps should be to protect themselves and their property. Obviously the first step is to preserve your life and those of your loved ones.
There are serval ideas online to help make up an emergency plan for a family. One of the first things to be considered is where to go for shelter in time of an impending storm. If you're in a mobile home know where you could go and be protected. A mobile home will not provide much protection during a tornado.
Arrangements should be made for a meeting place following a disaster should your family become separated during the event. Develop a list of the people you want to contact following a disaster to report your condition, whether you're healthy or in the hospital there are people who want to know.
Having copies of bank documents, important papers, wills, pictures, and some money, away from your residence prior to any event is good planning. If your home is destroyed many of the papers that you need, may go with it. Have arrangements made so you can get to your money either via ATM or directly from the bank. Knowing your bank codes, and numbers maybe critical during an emergency. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and your local emergency management coordinator have several brochures on emergency planning steps. It is a good idea for your Lions Club to get these documents and hand them out at the next meeting.
Getting to know your local amateur radio operator or ham radio operator will help in case of an emergency. Hams are frequently the first into an area following a disaster, and set up communications to get messages out. In many cities, the ham radio operators are also the storm spotters, hence they may be on the site within minutes following a tornado disaster. If public Communications are out these people can talk almost anywhere in the world.
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