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Get Prepared for Severe Weather This Year [OPINION]

LightningThere are several things to keep in mind during severe weather season, but overall, you should be prepared. “Be prepared” is not only the Boy Scout motto that I grew up on, but should be your mantra as well.

It amazes me that even with the tragic tornado in Joplin and numerous other big tornadoes around the state, that there are some who don’t have a plan. I am hoping that everyone comes up for a plan for not only your home, but for work and even while traveling.

There are five big things that I think you should pay attention to.

1. Check out the weather each day – Our station offer forecasts twice an hour through the day and additional updates for severe storms, so this should be fairly simple to achieve.

2. Get a NOAA Weather radio – The NOAA weather radio can alert you to impending weather. You can also set the weather radio to go off overnight, so if you’re sleeping, it will alert you to severe weather statements.

3. Get batteries – I think in this day and age, we overestimate our power grid. When power goes out for a long time, it is nice to have batteries to listen to your radio and let you know what is going on.

4. Have a Tornado Plan – Every house is built differently, so it is impossible for me to tell you exactly where to go exactly. However, once a tornado warning is in effect, go to your basement. If you don’t have a basement, pick the safest spot in your house. It could be a “safe room” or the center of an interior room, such as a closet. If you have time, check with your Emergency Management Agency for shelter locations.

5. Practice a Tornado Plan – I have a family of four with a dog and a bird, and my family will go through the drill and at least know where to go. If you do it at the beginning of spring, you’ll be all the better for it. Practice it.

There are lots of other things once can do and the Missouri Department of Public Safety has more tips, but please be prepared for severe weather this season. I hope we can all be a little more safer at home and on the road.

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