emergency preparedness

Last spring we had quite the run with severe weather. I was never more nervous for the likeliness of tornados and flooding until we had Evan. Having to be prepared for any sort of natural disaster and adding a baby (now toddler) to the mix was very scary.

There is a large variety of pre-made emergency kits that you can get at retailers, but you can also make your own and turn it into a fun family DIY project with everyone adding in their own items.

Weather developments happen rapidly and you don’t always have a lot of time to prepare for something like a tornado. Having an emergency kit handy will save you time and provide an extra layer of safety to your emergency plan.

Nationwide there are several natural disasters that are more prone to certain regions. Tornados and floods are far more common in Iowa than earthquakes, so it’s important to tailor your emergency kit to your region as well as your family’s needs.

It is important to keep your tornado emergency kit in an area that is easy to access and it should also be in the space where you take shelter in the event of a tornado. If possible have a “safe room” in your house (preferably in the basement)

Knowing the signs of severe weather can help your family tremendously. Tune in to weather reports when you notice a change in the skies. Keep an eye out for: wall clouds (they look shelf-like), green colored skies, hail, high winds and funnel clouds. Typically, severe weather sirens will sound to give you an indicator of severe weather.


Here is a list of the items we have in our tornado emergency kit that we keep in our safe room in our basement:

  • Medium-Large sized storage tub
  • A small radio, preferably a self-powered/battery radio
  • A self-powered flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Canned food or other non-perishable food
  • Organic baby food pouches and snacks (easy eating for the littles)
  • A hand-powered can opener
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Toilet paper
  • Blankets
  • USB Battery pack (to charge your cell phone)
  • Water (1 gallon per person, per day is an average amount)
  • A first aid kit
  • Back-up medicine (an extra inhaler for example if someone has asthma)
  • A spare set of keys to your vehicle and home
  • A change of clothes for each person in your household
  • Pet supplies (food, water and a pet carrier)
  • Diapers and wipes
  • A baby carrier (I highly recommend baby wearing if possible during severe weather, it insures keeping your little one close as well as providing comfort if they get scared)
  • A utility knife
  • Cash (if electricity is out in your area, a credit card won’t work)

Do you have an emergency kit prepared for your family? I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy Spring!

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