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Important tips for preparing for severe weather

 

Tornado

Now that summer is unofficially over it’s time to look forward to the cooler fall season (at least in most parts of the country). Sadly following autumn come winter. From what I hear we’re supposed to have a nasty winter too. I am NOT looking forward to that.

In addition to seasonal weather changes (like blizzards in the winter) it’s always a good idea to be prepared for any major weather situation. Our weather patterns and systems have gone haywire the past several years bringing along with it such catastrophes as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

Here is a great article from Master Lock with tips on how to prepare for the various weather situations.

North America is home to thousands of severe weather situations every year — from thunderstorms to tornados and wildfires to hurricanes. Since many of these storms strike without much warning, Master Lock encourages consumers to prepare now to ensure their families and belongings stay safe during even the most tumultuous events.

“Storms can be devastating no matter what,” said Rebecca Smith of Master Lock. “But there are some simple steps families can take now — rather than when an emergency has already occurred — to reduce their risk of loss and aid them in the recovery process, if needed.”

Master Lock offers these tips to help families prepare for severe weather:

1. Learn the language.

Beginning October 22, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in the U.S. will add two new threat levels to its weather outlooks for storm days at risk of producing tornados, hail or high winds. Risk categories will now include “enhanced” and “marginal,” in addition to the existing “slight,” “high” and “moderate.”

In Canada, citizens can depend on Environment Canada for severe weather warnings and watches. In April, Environment Canada updated its list of alert types to more accurately describe the severity of different weather hazards.

Learn the language of your national weather advisory organization so you can prepare appropriately for severe weather.

2. Prepare in advance. 

Severe weather may strike without warning, so take the basic steps now to ensure your family is ready should a storm strike when you’re home or away.

If you’re home when weather hits, an updated emergency kit is essential. Consumers listed water and non-perishable food as the two most important items in their emergency kits, according to the 2014 Safety and Security Survey*. Store these items in a cool, dry place and replace them every six months to ensure freshness. By writing dates on containers when you store them, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to swap them out. Don’t forget to pack for your pets, too.

In the event that severe weather hits while you’re out of town, ensure that a trusted friend or neighbor has the appropriate codes to access your property if needed. A resettable combination padlock, such as the Master Lock M175XDLF Combination Padlock, is a convenient option for securing your gate or fence since it does not require a key. It also allows you to change the combination as often as you wish, including when you arrive back home for added security.

3. Create a backup plan. 

Personal memorabilia and family/business documents were listed as the top two items people would want to save from their homes in case of a severe weather situation. To ensure these important documents remain intact after an emergency passes, store them in a Sentry®Safe fire safe that offers protection against fire and flood. To aid with disaster recovery in real time, store digital copies of these important documents — including insurance policies — in a secure online storage hub like the Master Lock Vault. The Master Lock Vault is free and can be accessed 24 hours a day, via smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing for easy access in any situation.

4. Secure outdoor belongings.

Storms can often be most damaging to the exterior of your home, due to either heavy winds or rain, or damaging hail or lightning. In case of inclement weather, lock up all possible outdoor belongings in a covered shed or garage, and secure the door with a padlock built to survive extreme weather situations, such as the Master LockM115XDLF Covered Laminated Padlock. For items that can’t be moved to an inside space, such as patio furniture, lock them tightly together and to another sturdy surface, if possible, with a secure cable and locking system like the Master Lock Python™ Adjustable Locking Cable. These tactics may also safe-guard your belongings against looters in the worst-case scenario if you are forced to evacuate your home.

5. Go cordless. 

Power outages are often associated with heavy storms. Be prepared by purchasing batteries for flashlights and weather radios and portable, external battery packs for charging cell phones when the power’s out — just be sure to keep the battery pack charged! If you lose power, remember to unplug all of your electrical appliances such as laptops, televisions and corded phones. Power surges can occur as the result of lightning and can damage plugged-in electronics and appliances. If you still have power during a lightning storm, avoid using corded (landline) telephones, as they can conduct electricity.

*According to a May 2014 Safety and Security Survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by Master Lock via SurveyMonkey.

These are some great tips to take into consideration.

If you would like to learn more about MasterLock you can visit them online at MasterLock.com. You can also find the brand on all the social networking sites.

Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share?

Hurricane

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this (with permission) for the benefit of my site readers. 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.