The first step for surviving any type of severe weather is to have a plan ready before storms enter the picture. Here are some tips and tools to help you develop that plan:

  • Locate your safe space or shelter, if you do not have one in your home, please make a plan to evacuate to a shelter or a sturdier building.
  • If you have a shelter or a safe space, consider storing important documents and other irreplaceable items there, space permitting.
  • Have something to cover up with: pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, and other house hold objects could protect you from falling or flying debris.
  • Keep trees and branches trimmed to limit the amount of debris.
  • Secure any outside objects or bring them under the car port, like trash cans, trampolines, children’s toys, gardening supplies, etc.
  • Bring your pet that resides outside inside your shelter or see that they have a way to shield themselves from the weather if they cannot fit inside the shelter.
  • Sign up for weather notifications on your phone and listen for outdoor sirens if your area has them.
  • Build a weather safety kit, more on that below.

What should I put in my weather safety kit?

  • First aid kit: you never know what may cause an injury or sudden illness.
  • Battery-Operated Weather Radio: you’ll need this incase the power goes out to stay up to date on the latest information directly from your National Weather Office. Offices that cover the ArkLaMiss are Shreveport LA, Little Rock AR, and Jackson MS.
  • A map to help track storms: A map that includes county and parish outlines will help you determine where storms are located. A state highway map is also a good tool, they often include most cities and towns that will be referred to by the National Weather Service. A map is a necessary item especially when the power goes out and you don’t have access to your local new station on television.
  • Shoes: This item might sound funny but it’s true! For storms that occur during the night, most people aren’t thinking about what they’re wearing in the moment. It is also good for protection from fallen debris like glass.
  • Identifier/ID: Have your wallet or important documents like birth certificates nearby. If significant damage occurs you may need a way to identify yourself to others and officials.
  • Car Keys: This is assuming that your car remains undamaged, it is not flooding, and it isn’t too dangerous to drive after the storm has passed.
  • Electronics: Cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. are all good, service and power permitting, to receive information regarding the conditions outside.
  • Back-Up Chargers/ Generator/ Spare Batteries: For the electronics that you need to stay powered on, like refrigerators, oxygen tanks, cell phones, etc. Keep in mind, please do not put your generator in an enclosed area like a garage while running.
  • Flashlights: It’s possible the power may go out and at night, you need to be aware of surroundings.