(Toledo News Now) - When severe weather sirens go off and tornado warnings are put in place, emergency services officials say it's important to have a plan and be informed.
“Before they (tornadoes) occur, they need to plan and be prepared for it,” said Patricia Moomey, director for the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
That includes signing up for weather alerts, discussing with your family how you'll respond to emergencies and knowing where you can take shelter.
Moomey says the best place to find shelter is inside, on the lowest level of a building.
“It should be also an area that has no windows if possible,” she said.
After getting into a safe place, make sure your emergency preparedness kit is accessible.
“Some of the items that could be in that kit are a weather radio, water, flashlights,” said Jessica Zercher, Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross of Northwest Ohio.
Extra non-perishable food and blankets are also helpful, along with having more than one kit.
“It would be nice to have, ideally, a kit in your home, but also to have a kit in your car in case, for some reason, you are traveling and you don't have that information, being able to have access to that if something does happen immediately,” said Zercher.
Keep in mind you can create a disaster preparedness plan and kit to meet your family's needs.
“You can cater that toward your family, your pets, whatever it is,” Zercher said. “If you call the Red Cross, we would gladly talk to you or send out the information to you about what you can put in a disaster preparedness kit.”
Make sure your kit includes the basic supplies, such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a weather radio.
Officials say the most important thing to remember during a tornado warning, after seeking shelter, is to stay put until there's an all-clear.
If you don't have time, or still don't know what exactly to put into your disaster preparedness kit, the American Red Cross offers pre-made kits for purchase.
For more information, visit the
, or call 419-329-2900.
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