Tornado Debris: A Reminder to Prep Better

minor tornado debris of shingle and insulation Yesterday afternoon we heard the weatherman say a tornado was on the ground some blocks south of us, so we quickly got Ellie, a flashlight, a weather radio, and a couple of chairs and headed to our root cellar. Thankfully, our home did not have any damage. But a walk around the yard afterwards clearly indicated that our neighbors in the city did, with tufts of insulation scattered in our yard, on our roof, stuck to our vehicles and plants in the garden. A few shingle remnants were also strewn around.

This debris was a visual reminder to prep better. If our home had been wiped away, and if it was our insulation littering the city, would we have had what we needed in our sheltering area? This past winter we both read the book Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison. Based on the guidelines in that book, how did we do? We could check off some basic things we did right, but what if we had lost the main floor? If there is a “next time” that is worse than this, causing problems for a longer duration over a widespread area, would we have what we need?

Further Steps in the Right Direction

After some evaluation, we still need to assemble some items in addition to what we had today:

  • Emergency binder with an electronic back-up of our most important and updated records.
  • Two personalized adult “evacuation kits” ready to go in case we need to stay away from home.
  • Emergency food that travels well in case parts of the house, such as the pantry, are hard to reach or altogether gone in the aftermath.

As we shelter in the root cellar, running out the door with squash and glass jars of canned goods might make for an interesting relay activity but might not be the most practical. We have some bottled water stored in our shelter area to wet our whistles, but we may add an actual whistle in case we are trapped by debris and need to alert search crews of our presence.  So, we’ve evaluated areas for improvement. How would you do? Are you ready?

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