Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Editorials

April 29, 2014

Stay informed, stay prepared, stay safe

I can remember last November when I was on the phone and working at my computer to try to help get the message out about the dangerous storms facing much of the state.

Many of our local towns were under tornado warnings for much of the day, including Osgood, Napoleon and Sunman. At one point, Indiana Task Force 1, a team of emergency responders from fire departments in and around Marion County, were even deployed – my son being one of them. Fortunately, most residential and commercial areas came out unscathed with only minor damage.

That being said, you just never know what Mother Nature will bring, and our area of the state hasn’t always been so lucky. Indiana is no stranger to tornadoes, as Henryville is still fresh in our minds. May and June are the peak tornado months in Indiana, and I think it is important that we all be prepared.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 2013, the U.S. experienced seven weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each. Over 100 people were killed in these events, five of which were severe weather and tornado events.

When it comes to being prepared for such a disaster, many people do not know where to begin, but doing so does not have to be difficult or even pricey. In fact, three small steps can put you well on your way towards increasing your chances of surviving a weather emergency.

The first thing every family needs is a disaster supply kit. The best way to look at this is to think, if I were unable to leave the house for 72 hours, what would I need to get by? At the most basic level, that means a three-day supply of food and water, but there are many other things that may not be as obvious. For example, what about cash; a whistle to signal for help; or prescription medications? More information and helpful tips for creating a supply kit can be found by visiting http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit.

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