Seniors-Insure Your Safety in a Storm

May 2nd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The proliferation of dreadful and disastrous storms, particularly tornadoes, raises the question for everyone: Am I safe where I live?  The question begs a thoughtful and thorough answer.  It requires a careful analysis of geography, climate, topography, history, physical structure, and other considerations which can contribute to safety and preparation.

If your residence, the most likely place you are to be in the event of a storm, is sturdily built, has a safe room, basement, or storm cellar adjacent you are likely in a good situation.  Even then, however, examination should include what objects could block your escape from any of those locations were a major storm to hit?  Are there huge, heavy trees that could block your egress, once the storm is ended?  Could an automobile prevent your being able to escape, were it to be blown over your place of protection? Do you have a cell phone or other means of communication to contact someone nearby in the event you are trapped? Is there ample room to accommodate you and any family or friends who may be with you? Do you have a generator, a battery operated flashlight and other safety devices which may be helpful?  Do you have comforters, blankets, pillows, water, and any other items that may assist you if you are required to stay inside for longer than anticipated?

Your inventory should include how to be sure all children and pets are able quickly to make their way to the safe room.  Checking out the condition of the room every week should be a part of your routine.  Make certain it is in condition for assisting persons to be as comfortable and safe as possible.

If you do not have such a facility available, develop an optional plan which will grant as much safety and security for you and your family as quickly as possible.  Typically there is little time once a tornado warning has been given to make it to a safe location.  Expediting your ability and that of those you are responsible for being in a safe place is a high priority. Be sure everyone involved in your home knows the plan and is able to move to safety rapidly.

Be sure the optional location will expect you in the event of an emergency.  Do not assume it will be open and ready for your arrival.

Typically, do not seek shelter in an automobile.  If you reside in a mobile home, the most likely place that will provide as much safety as possible is a middle bathroom; use mattresses placed over you in your bathtub for protection.

The counsel to stay away from windows is well advised.  Do not watch the storm.  You need  to trust others to report afterward what has taken place.  You do not need to be further assured that a tornado is on its way if the alarm and warning has already been sounded.

Take a battery operated weather radio, a small but good investment, with you to your safe place so that you can follow the ongoing reports of the progress of the storm.

Try to maintain as much calm in the face of an oncoming storm as possible.  Help children to keep calm.  Hold them, if necessary.  It will be important in future when they have repeat experiences to be able to manage their fear and anxiety.

Remember to stay abreast of all reporting when storm season is on in your area.  Do not take for granted that a tornado will not hit your home or area, just because it never has before.  Be ready, be informed, be as calm as possible, and be safe.



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