March through August is tornado season in the United States, where some 1,000 tornadoes hit every year. Be prepared. Tornadoes are more powerful than any other storm: They can toss freight trains like toys and throw your house down the block.
If you live in one of the top ten tornado states identified in order below, be smart and prepare yourself and your family for unexpected disaster:
- Florida is hit by more tornadoes than any other state in the U.S. and, also, also by more severe thunderstorms than any state.
- Oklahoma is the heart of what meteorologists call Tornado Alley. Its weather patterns often make warm and cool air collide — ideal for creating tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms.
- Kansas is where a mammoth twister whisked Dorothy and her little dog Toto to Oz, but it’s also where thousands of people are caught unprepared for damaging storms every year.
- Iowa was clobbered by 28 tornadoes in 2013 and averages of about 50 damaging thunderstorms every year.
- Illinois experienced one of its deadliest years on record for tornadoes in 2013. Storms generated widespread flooding and cut power in more than 160,000 homes and businesses.
- Indiana ranks second in the nation for the costs of tornado damage, sixth for the number of deaths and seventh for the number of personal injuries.
- Mississippi averages 29 tornadoes per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its coastal regions are hit by devastating hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Maryland ranks in the Tornado Top Ten because of its mid-south and Atlantic Ocean weather patterns generate many twisters and serious thunderstorms.
- Louisiana ranks second in the U.S. for the most thunderstorms annually and as a result, and averages 37 tornadoes per year.
- Texas averages 155 tornadoes per year – the most of any state — but its land mass is so large it ranks 10th in the U.S. per tornadoes every 10,000 square miles.
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Tagged NOAA, severe weather, tornado preparedness, tornado safety, Tornadoes
Sunday, September 15th begins Child Passenger Safety Week. With school having just started, this is a good time to think about how you keep your kids safe while on the road. Naturally, you will have a car emergency kit in your vehicle, but there is so much more to consider.
To help you teach your child, and maybe even refresh your own memory, Traffic Safety Marketing is offering a free activity book PDF called Let’s Learn About Safety. This 20-page book includes coloring pages, word puzzles and more. This is a big file to download, because it includes other materials as well, just so you know before you start to download it.
For kids old enough to ride the bus to school, they also offer a bilingual PDF titled Tips to Increase Your Child’s School Bus Safety. This PDF offers tips for parents so they can teach their child to be safe on the school bus, as well as approaching and walking away from the bus. It also provides ways that parents be be safer during the school year, such as slowing down and watching for children in school zones.
Use these materials to help your child have a safer school year.
Image credit: Traffic Safety Marketing
Keeping your child safe at home is almost second nature. We are always sure to have a child safety kit and home survival kit on hand to protect our children from everyday household hazards and emergencies, as well as a first aid kit for unexpected emergencies. But preparedness and safety don’t only apply at home.
Make sure, now that school is under way, that your child’s school always has current contact information in case of an emergency. In addition, your child should have an emergency contact card at all times.
Find out where your school will take children if there is a need to evacuate. Ask about their food and water storage for classrooms in case children need to shelter in place, and see how the school plans to contact family in emergency situations. Lastly, have an emergency person who is authorized to pick up your child if you are unable to. Make sure the school knows who this person is in advance of an emergency situation.
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You probably already have your emergency kit (and if you don’t, you should!), but FEMA offers lots of resources to help us be better prepared for emergencies and disasters. With September being National Preparedness Month, they have some extra activities to encourage people to prepare.
The 30 Days 30 Ways preparedness challenge is one of those activities. The goal is to help communities to be better prepared by giving people one new preparedness task each day. This is a fun way to get you into a preparedness mindset and you can win great prizes by playing along.
Want to play? Check out the game rules and then jump in. You can play as much as you want so don’t be intimidated thinking you must commit to playing every day if you’re not able. But if you can, you’ll feel better prepared and closer to your community. Encourage your friends, neighbors and family members to play as well. You’ll be helping them to be better prepared, too.
Ready to learn more? Check out this video and then visit 30 Days 30 Ways to participate.
Image credit: 30 Days 30 Ways
Going away to college represents a big life change for students and parents alike. If you have a student getting ready to start classes, you both are probably overwhelmed with all the preparations. Don’t forget, getting ready for college isn’t just about academics. It is important that your college student is ready for emergencies as well.
According to FEMA, it is important to equip students with a disaster kit that includes a flashlight, a radio, a solar powered or hand-cranked cell phone charger, energy bars, water and first aid supplies. It is also a good idea to provide a car kit.
Find out the emergency procedures for the college your student is attending and make sure he or she is on the emergency notification system list. Go over the emergency procedures with your student to be sure they are clear. After all, he will have to handle situations alone without parental guidance.
You should also establish a communication system for your family so you are notified if there is an emergency at the college. You will want to know your child is safe. Also, make an emergency contact list with names, phone numbers and locations of family members, doctors, medical insurance and any other important information. Put a copy in the emergency kit and also keep a copy someplace else (such as a vehicle) so the information is easily accessible.
It may be hard seeing your child go away to college, but making sure he is completely prepared for every situation will give you both peace of mind.
photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via photopin cc