The Chicago area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, with possible hail and damaging winds. A thunderstorm is one of the beauties of summer, here, for sure. But are you prepared in the event of more severe weather? What about your kids and pets?
Let's review-- in the case of a tornado, here is this excellent post by Tween Us blogger, Shannan Younger, with vital information and safety tips.
And, don't forget your pets! Raining Cats and Dogs has advice on how to prepare for tornadoes and floods if you have pets with you.
In case of tornadoes, here are the basics---
Seek shelter immediately. The safest place is a basement.
If you don't have a basement, go to an interior first-floor room, such as a bathroom or a hallway with no windows. Stay away from doors and windows. Keep the windows closed.
Have a 3-day supply of food and water on hand --food and water for pets, too.
Keep your pets with you! For dogs, collar, tags, leash. For cats, collar, tags, a carrier, also a litter box and litter. Include familiar items--toys and bedding. Don't forget plastic bags for clean-up.
Have other emergency supplies ready --a first-aid kit, any prescription medications, a radio, batteries, flashlights, candles, matches.
If you are driving, DON'T try to out drive a tornado! Don't seek shelter under a bridge or overpass. Get out of the vehicle and seek shelter or find a low area--even a ditch by the side of the road. Try to protect your head from flying debris.
Know the signs of a tornado---
Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base
Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base
Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift
Day or night - Loud, continuous roar or rumble
In case of wind and hailstorms--
Get everyone inside.
Put your car in the garage to prevent damage.
Move outdoor items (like patio furniture) into the garage or basement.
If driving, turn on the headlights. Seek shelter if possible. Stay away from trees. Stay in the car until the hail subsides.
In case of Lightning--
Go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for the rain to begin before going inside.
Don't seek shelter under trees.
If indoors, avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Turn off computers and TVs and unplug appliances.
BONUS ---After any storm, be mindful of standing water, downed power lines and broken tree limbs.
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