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National Geographic Tornado


Soon, the storm season will be upon the Midwest and Central US.  So, todays post is on making through a storm.  I will touch on the things to do during a tornado, but there are insane amounts of people trying to give you that information, so I will leave details out.

Large Storms, Dense Squallines, Tornados, Hurricanes, Ice Storms, or even just a basic blackout in a small storm will all put you outside your comfort zone.

Large Storms and Dense Squallines usually beget tornados.  Get a weather radio that has AM/FM/Weather station.  Get a plugin/batt backup radio and a battery/hand crank radio to have some redundancy.  If you get one with alerts, it will be helpful to wake you up if you are surprised by the storm.  Best to remain inside and be vigilant, and if a tornado is on route with you, get to your storm shelter or in a centralized windowless room on the lowest possible floor.

Hurricanes typically have a week or two of notice, and it is best to evacuate when the evacuation notice is given.  Take a vacation, with your most important items.  If you stay, my suggestions stop, because you should try to get out.  But if you have no choice, I hope some of my storm suggestions will help you while riding out the hurricane.

Ice Storms usually don’t end in total destruction, but the weight of snow and ice will usually take down our electrical grid by taking out power lines and poles.

Let’s work on a “Storm Bag” which should not be confused with a Bug Out Bag.  What is important?  Lighting, Heat or Cooling, Safety, Food, Water are some concerns.  Most of these will be addressed for THE NIGHT OF THE STORM.  This is not extended preparation, which will be another post.

LIGHTING: You should have a couple of headlamps, or lights that clip on the bill of a cap.  Hands free lighting is always the best kind.  I usually grab the multipacks of little LED lights at Harbor Freight.  Having several of these is a really good idea and they are dirt cheap.  I try to keep a light in almost every drawer, so I can always find one when it is important as well.  Keeping tea-light candles are always a good addition, with a lighter, for portable lighting.

HEATING/COOLING: Heating and Cooling should be looked at as high importance.  The key here is to heat/cool the person, not the house.  For heating, we can look into electric blankets and heating pads first…if you have an Emergency Battery Bank or Generator, or even just an inverter tied to your car.  If you have a natural gas heater (not electric) or fireplace, you can use this for localized heating.  If you heat or cool a space, make the space as convienient, comfortable, and as small as possible.  Cooling may be done by small fans with backup power and even a window unit.  Most of this cannot be packed into a Storm Bag.  This is more concerning for longer periods of time.

SAFETY: If you have an emergency situation, like a storm, you need an exit strategy from dangers.  Storm Shelters, Safe Rooms, etc. are all forms of exit strategies.  Leaving, or Bugging Out, is also an option.

FOOD: This is more of a long term concern, and you should have plenty in store of the home and in your B.O.B.  It still cant hurt to keep a pack of granola bars in the Storm Bag.

WATER: Keep a couple bottles of water in your bag, but more importantly, fill up your bathtub with water before every storm.  This is again an acute fix to a water supply issue.  It won’t last you alot of time, but every gallon matters, and this is a proactive step you can take to correct a potential problem.

We need to consider a “Grid Down” scenario.  But that will deal in alot of other issues.  The availability of electricity will improve our comfort levels and survival chances.  It will also raise our chances of helping others.  That is why I will be discussing generators next.

Recap… Big issues are safety, lighting, and having snack foods/small amounts of water.  Get all your supplies in a centralized location so you don’t have to find everyting.


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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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