For the Midwest, tornado season is in full swing. Even the Gulf Coast has had some recent tornado threats. It can be daunting to try and plan out the best strategy to tackle such an unpredictable thing as nature. But, we have rounded up the best tips from insurance agencies, to the local news and even tornado survivors’ stories to compile the best information.

  1. First of all, you should always have a plan, map and exit strategy. Make sure your basement has a cleared, secure place. If you are in a mobile home, you should leave and seek shelter elsewhere.
  2. Take the caution seriously and don’t just rely on the sirens–they aren’t fail proof indicators.
  3. Check if your county is a part of Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). Entities involved in this program push weather emergency alerts (WEAs) through smart phones and mobile devices.
  4. Bring back the old school technology: a hand crank radio. It’s so easy to rely on your television reports, your phone, your laptop and now even your tablet to look up the latest information. But, those all need an outlet. If your cell phone is your operating “landline,” purchase a wireless charging station like Duracell’s Powermat. These ingenious devices are battery operated. So, do buy extra batteries!
  5. Place items in convenient places and always remember to have good, hiking shoes on hand. When interviewed by the Dodge Globe Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service Jeff Hutton, said shoes were one of the most important items to have. Why? “If your house is damaged, you may have to step on glass and other debris. Having some kind of footwear is essential.”
  6. The convenient placement for shoes would be under your bed. Place your hand cranked radio in the basement so you always know where it is.
  7. Everyone needs and should be informed on their Insurance Plans and Storm Coverage.

Here are a few other items you may want to consider :

  • Helmets: U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed wearing a helmet, specifically during tornadoes.
  • Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. Created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the nonprofit social investment bank and financial literacy advocate Operation HOPE. The kit’s main recommendation is that  you store originals of pertinent records like birth certificates, social security cards, and even your mortgage or real estate deeds in a fireproof and waterproof metal box or safe. As a back up, store them on a portable hard drive or a flash drive. Read more here.
  • FEMA’s basic emergency supply kit: includes a gallon of water for each person/day; a three-day supply of non-perishable food; battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a weather radio with alert; flashlight; batteries for the radio and flashlight; first aid kit; whistle (to signal for help); dust mask; moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation; wrench/pliers to turn off utilities; can opener for canned food; and local maps. Click here for more information.