Living in Texas my entire life, I’m used to our “spring showers.” In fact, I don’t mind them much. Thunder is kinda cool. Lightning can be pretty to look at… but scary.
Prepare for Tornado Season
Hail is just… ugh. Pea to dime-size hail isn’t typically a big deal. But, when you get to quarter or golf ball-size (which we had this past weekend), you already have the possibility of property damage.
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Softball-size? Forget about it. Cars, roofs, windows, everything is destroyed.
And then there’s the wind.
“Wind gusts” up to a certain miles per hour are tolerable.
Straight line winds can do some extensive damage on their own.
Tornadoes? No matter how long I’ve lived in tornado alley, these aren’t something you get used to. Nor are they something you want to hear in the forecast.
But, they are a reality here, so we have learned to use these tips to prepare for tornado season:
- Choose a safe spot in your house. It needs to be away from outer walls, windowless, on the lowest floor, and near plumbing is typically best. An inner bathroom or closet works well.
- Fill that spot with essentials you made need in an emergency (battery-powered weather radio, flashlights, water, snacks, shoes, bike helmets and cell phone charger).
- Have an emergency plan. Make sure everyone in the house knows where the safe spot is and how to get there in an emergency.
- Stay aware of local weather conditions. During Texas tornado season, it pays to be alert to changing weather conditions in your area.
- Listen for tornado sirens. Although they can go off for other weather conditions, such as high winds, they can still be your first signal something is wrong.
We have weather alerts set up on our phones and monitor the weather closely when we know rain is on the way. Well, not just rain; thunderstorms.
Our mudroom closet gets emptied for tornado season and we fill it with everything I listed above.
Plus, when we found black mold in our house and they had to redo the closet, we asked them to turn an electrical socket around so we could have power in the closet (just in case).
We picked the closet because (1) it’s large enough for us all to fit, (2), it’s centrally located in our house and (3) is directly under the upstairs bathroom.
Not to mention, there is a door to the mudroom and to the garage so we can completely shut off that area during a storm. If windows get blown, it helps keep us further away from the broken glass and flying debris.
Speaking of debris, were you wondering about the bike helmets? They are to protect our heads in case of falling or flying objects.
Also, since we have a grandbaby now, a car seat is a great place to keep the baby. You put a helmet on the baby, strap them into their car seat, and then tag the seat with your name and contact information.
I know it sounds like a terrible plan while putting it into action, but it could actually save the baby’s life. That seems most important.
Before the storm approaches, it’s also a good idea to close all of the interior doors of your home. It helps to pressurize your house so that if the wind finds its way into your house, it can’t build up pressure to blow off your roof!
Finally, as challenging as I know it is, try not to panic. When a tornado is going over, I can tell you, from experience, how incredibly terrifying it is.
I can also attest to how much strength it takes to hold a closet door shut as the tornado flies through your home.
Which reminds me, try to find a way to help bolt the door or hold it shut from your side of it. That door is essential to keeping you safe inside!
Tornadoes can completely destroy everything in their path. I’ve seen it time and time again. Being prepared and staying alert is your best line of defense.