Be prepared as storm season approaches

With spring’s return, it’s time to think about what you’ll do in the event of a tornado or dangerous thunderstorm. Knowing what to do and making a few simple preparations can help protect you and your family when severe weather strikes.

Home and personal preparedness. To ensure you learn about an imminent weather danger, consider using a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio or subscribing to an electronic weather alert service that sends you a notice via email or text message. Learn about options for wireless emergency alerts and smartphone apps. Remember that outdoor warning sirens are for people who are outdoors – you may not be able to hear them inside a building.

Minneapolis also uses a telephone notification tool called “Swiftreach” to alert residents to snow emergencies and other important info. If you have a listed residential phone number in Minneapolis you are likely already on the list. If you are not receiving these calls, register now and add your contact info.

This is also an excellent time to create your own home emergency kit. Here are some items you should consider placing in a bag or box in your basement or home shelter site: Bottled water; non-perishable snacks and ready-to-eat food; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; flashlight; first aid kit; cards, games, books or other items to help you pass the time; list of key phone numbers (insurance agent, doctor, etc.); a photocopy of your driver’s license or state ID card.

What to do if severe weather is approaching: Turn to your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, local TV, radio or weather channel for updates on alerts and warnings. Listen for outdoor warning sirens that are activated in case of imminent danger. If a warning has been issued or you hear outdoor warning sirens, take shelter in the basement or inner stairwell and get further info. Stay in your location until the all-clear signal has been issued.