Spring has sprung and in Oklahoma that means two things: allergies and tornadoes. So after you’ve bought your family-size pack of Claritin, be sure to sweep out your storm shelter and make a list of what you need for ‘nader season. Here’s what we keep in our “Go Bag” for severe weather:
8 Necessities for Your Tornado Grab Bag
Battery-Powered Radio and Flashlights
I cannot stress this enough: do not rely on your phone for accurate information. Very often cell service becomes spotty and weather apps either do not update fast enough or they stop working altogether. Keep flashlights down in your shelter as well as new batteries.
First Aid Kit
Basic first aid needs like bandages, alcohol wipes/spray, and ointments should have a permanent place in your shelter.
Copies (or originals) of birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, etc. should all be in a box or bag down in your storm cellar or safe room as well as any insurance paperwork (such as your agent’s name and phone number).
Charging Cords/Emergency Power Banks
You need to have a charging cord AND wall adapter for every phone in your house as well as cords for any tablets/laptops. In an ideal world, every phone-owning member of your family would be equipped with an emergency power bank (these from Five Below would make GREAT Easter basket stuffers!).
We don’t always have the wherewithal and advanced notice to grab every medication or supplement we may need should our house be damaged from severe storms BUT those little papers that come stapled to your CVS bag can be paperclipped together and stuffed in your go bag or in an envelope and stored in the cellar.
This is an important one. Should something happen to your house/belongings and you need to evacuate, having at least one pair of pajamas and one pair of clean clothes is vital. Just be sure to update your bag for the season and your children’s sizes. Our oldest is 9 years old and our go bag still had size 4T clothes! Also, be sure to have actual shoes NOT flip-flops. I’ve had friends who survived the “Big Ones” (May 3, 1999; May 20, 2013) and they said having good shoes helped when walking through the rubble.
Food and Water
I’m not saying you have to be a doomsday prepper, but having a few snacks (especially if you have certain dietary restrictions) can help keep “the hangries” at bay while hunkering down in the hidey hole. Its also a great idea to keep a few bottles of water in your fridge so you can grab them easily before getting to your safe spot.
We made sure to grab each child’s favorite blanket/stuffed animal before we head for safety. These are not only precious items you do not want to risk losing should the worst happen but they will also provide some comfort for your little ones in a very high-stress time. If you have very little ones, you’ll need diapers/wipes, formula, and bottles/sippy cups.