Safe in the Storm
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Top 20 Tips to Get You Ready for Any Disaster
  1. Don’t assume that nothing bad will ever happen to your home, property, or family. The planning and preparing you do now will buy you a great deal of peace of mind later.
  2. Determine the most likely natural disaster or extreme weather event that could happen and prepare for that first.
  3. The most important factors in survival are water, food, shelter, and warmth. Prepare for a disaster with those 4 priorities in mind.
  4. Stay tuned to local news that will keep you informed of a storm’s track, public emergency shelters, etc. A good quality battery/solar powered emergency radio should be one of your first purchases.
  5. Prepare for a 2-week disaster and assume you have no electricity. Most disasters include power outages, so it’s smart to have a plan for living without power for several days.
  6. Use clean, empty 2-liter soda bottles to store water. Simply re-fill, cap tightly, and store in a dark location, such as a closet or under a bed.
  7. Keep a gallon of bleach on hand to purify water that may not be safe to drink. Add 8 drops to a gallon of clear water, 16 if the water is cloudy. Stir and allow to sit for 30 minutes before drinking.
  8. Stock up on food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked, such as peanut butter, graham crackers, jerky, dried fruit, applesauce/fruit cups, and freeze-dried produce. Plan very simple meals that are filling and contain plenty of protein.
  9. Remember to stock up on extra food and supplies for your pets.
  10. Have at least 2 ways to heat water and cook food. Some good options are a solar oven for sunny days and a fuel efficient dual-fuel rocket stove. Make sure you also store fuel for the stove.
  11. If you live in a hot climate, a tent can come in handy for nights when the power is out and the house is too hot for sleeping.
  12. It’s important to insulate windows from the cold and heat when the power is out. Blankets, sheets of Styrofoam, even bubble wrap can be used for this purpose.
  13. Do not use a heater powered by propane, gas, or charcoal indoors. They produce carbon monoxide, which could be fatal.
  14. Know how to safely shut off your home’s electricity, water, and gas. Older children should know these procedures as well.
  15. Extra tarps and plenty of rope can help cover broken windows, damaged roofs and walls and used to build a makeshift outdoor shelter.
  16. Look for and cut down any large tree branches that could fall and damage your home or nearby electrical lines.
  17. Keep several different sources of light in different rooms of the house and in the car. Flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, and even light sticks will provide a sense of security and helpful illumination when the power goes out. Remember to stock up on extra batteries!
  18. Get ready for an emergency evacuation by packing a bag with a change of clothes for each person in the family, sturdy walking shoes, a few high-calorie energy bars, a sealed water bottle, some cash, and a small toiletry bag. Store these bags near an outside door so they are ready to grab and go.
  19. Long before an evacuation, know at least 3 different routes out of town and have a destination in mind.
  20. Keep a vehicle emergency kit packed and stored in the trunk of your car. This will insure that you have important supplies in an evacuation or other roadside emergency.
  21. Assemble a Grab-n-Go binder with copies of important documents, including insurance policies, medical records, birth certificates, etc. Since this will contain sensitive information, be sure to store it in a Sentry Safe.
  22. Every member of the family should know what to do for each specific emergency. Kids need to know where to go in case of an intense storm, how to evacuate a burning house, and how to communicate vital facts to a 911 operator. There’s nothing better than rehearsing evacuation routines
  23. Many cities and states have websites that provide tips for disasters specific to your location. FEMA’s website at is a great resource.
  24. In an emergency, cash is king. Keep at least a hundred dollars in smaller bills stashed in a secure location, such as a Sentry Safe.
  25. Get educated! Take a first aid and CPR class and sign up for CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) classes in your area. You never know when you might have to be the first, first responder.
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