High wind, driving rain, hail, tornadoes, lightning… spring (and summer) showers can often turn into dangerous storms. Keep yourself, your family, and your belongings safe – and keep this checklist handy:
___Put a battery-operated flashlight in a place where you can easily find it in the dark and keep extra batteries accessible.
___ Assemble a survival kit that includes water (one gallon per person as well as any pets), non-perishable food, a battery-operated radio, first aid supplies, and emergency cash.
___Have a family disaster plan that includes where to meet up in case you get separated.
___If you live on an upper floor in a high-rise apartment building, move to the lower level during tornado warnings. You want to be on the lowest floor in the smallest room possible as far inside the building as you can get, away from windows and doors.
___Be sure your family knows and has practiced the fire escape route several times. It is very easy to lose your way in dense smoke, so find markers low to the ground that you'll remember to watch for.
___When a storm is approaching, unplug your electrical appliances. Stay indoors until the danger has passed, and never approach downed power wires.
___Don't forget your pets! Make a list of pet-friendly hotels located nearby in case you have to evacuate. Keep this list with your disaster kit, along with an extra leash, a crate, food, and a photo of your pet.
___Before a storm hits, be sure your cell phone is fully charged and you have enough food and water to last several days if necessary.
___Consider taking a class in CPR (the Red Cross offers a CPR class for pets, too!).