PREPAREDNESS: AT YOUR HOME AND PLACE OF BUSINESS
What to Do Before a Tornado, or Natural or Man Made Disaster
Build an Emergency Kit
- A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
- Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
- You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
- Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
Make a Family Communications Plan
Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:
- How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
- How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
- How will my family/household get in touch if cell phones, the internet or landlines don’t work?
- How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
- How will my family/household get to a meeting place after emergency?
Register for Emergency Alerts
Register for free emergency alerts by text, email and phone at www.nixle.com. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio and keep fresh, back-up batteries on hand. Though some of our neighborhoods are within hearing distance of the City of Rockwall’s outdoor warning sirens, the City of Heath does not have such a system, which is designed to alert people who are outdoors to take shelter. These systems are not intended for people who are inside a home or building to hear, which makes Nixle and other systems that provide warnings via text, email and phone critical.
Get Trained to Help Others
The desire to help the victims of the December 26 tornadoes was immediate and overwhelming, which created another issue for public safety and city officials to manage. Local organizations and churches, including Rockwall CERT, offer ongoing training.
Identify a Place to Take Shelter or Build a Safe Room at Your Home
FEMA has many resources to help you decide what’s best for your family.
Know the Terms:
Tornado Watch – This means that tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning – This means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.