The recent tornado in our area might have you wondering if you were prepared enough or if you could have, or should have, been more prepared. St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management Director Captain Chris Hunt says now is the time to prepare for the next one—whenever that may be—so that we have the necessary tools and knowledge to keep safe.
- Have a plan for safe shelter for you, your family, and your pets. Discuss where you will meet once the storm is over in case you aren’t all together when the storm hits.
- At home, have fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device so you can listen to the latest emergency weather information.
- Keep an emergency kit—including water, non-perishable food and medication—where you plan to take shelter.
- Make a list of important information, including telephone numbers.
Before/During the Tornado/Storm:
- Watch the sky for weather signs and sounds that may mean a severe storm or tornado is coming: dark or green-colored sky; large, dark low-lying clouds; large hail; or a loud roar that sounds like a freight train.
- Go to the lowest level of the building. If this is not a basement, go to an inside room without windows, such as a bathroom, closet or center hallway.
- Avoid windows.
- Get under something sturdy, if possible, and cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head.
- DO NOT stay in a mobile home.
- If you are in a mobile home, outside or in your car, find the nearest sturdy building and shelter there.
Emergency Management officials stress to pay heed to outdoor warning sirens. Even if you have alerts on your cell phone or NOAA weather radio, pay attention to outdoor warning sirens as well. Any single method can fail. And just because the warning sirens stop, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. An outdoor warning siren sounds for three minutes each time it is activated. After the first alert, it is important for residents to tune in to information sources, such as media broadcasts, to keep up with the latest news, including when the dangerous weather has moved out of the area.