How to Prepare forNatural Disasters and Emergencies
From tornados to severe thunderstorms, natural disasters can create life-threatening situations in Kansas City. However, preparing for these events ahead of time can keep you, your household, and your property safe. Our tips are here to help you plan for any emergencies that life might throw your way—and if you ever have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Packing an emergency kit is one of the easiest things you can do to prepare for a natural disaster. In the event of a power outage or weather event, it helps to have all of your basic conveniences on hand, especially if you're unable to leave your home. Remember to gather enough supplies to sustain you for at least a few days!
Every emergency kit should be stocked with essentials that you need for everyday life. Examples include:
- non-perishable food
- bottled water
- a deluxe first aid kit
- toilet paper & paper towels
- phone chargers & any solar chargers
- flash lights with extra batteries
- ziplock baggies for keeping things dry
- pet supplies for our furry family members
- You should also have all of your important documents on hand—like birth certificates and passports
Living in Kansas City, you'll have inclement weather that can come in relatively quickly: severe thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds, potential tornados and ice storms. Make sure to include supplies that could be helpful in every type of natural disaster.
- NOAA weather radio
- Dust masks
- work gloves
- thermal blankets
- shovels & ice scrapers
- a tool kit & multipurpose tool
- a generator
- two-way radios or CB radio are just a few things you should have on hand.
A written emergency plan
Take some time to sit down with your household and craft an emergency plan. Natural disasters can happen at any moment, which means there's a good chance that not everyone will be home during a major weather event. You'll want to write out a plan with:
- designate a meeting place
- map out an evacuation route
- important phone numbers
- make sure everyone in your household is aware of the plan, and be sure to keep one in your kit.
Other Emergency Kit Essentials
- Household cleaners: Bleach, soap, disinfectant cleaner, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer
- Kitchen supplies: Can openers, knives, plastic plates and cutlery, swiss army knife or multipurpose tool
- Personal hygiene products: Soap, diapers, towels, and baby wipes, paper towels, travel size personal items
- Miscellaneous supplies: Batteries, glow sticks, board games, CB radio or a hand crank radio, two way radios etc.
Where to Get Information
There are countless ways to keep up with severe weather and other natural disasters. Luckily, Kansas City has an overhead warning system in place to alert residents of any critical events—but it also important to have other methods of communication available so you and your household can stay safe.
Johnson County weather alerts
Johnson County has its own emergency alerts in place to keep residents informed in the event of a disaster. You can sign up for these notifications via emails, phone calls, or texts at NotifyJoCo.org. Locals news stations, such as Fox 4 or KCTV5, can also provide up-to-date information during emergencies.
If you're looking for more general advice on how to prepare for a disaster, check out Ready.gov, the government's official emergency preparedness program. Ready.gov provides wireless alerts, as well as resources that can help you create an emergency kit and prepare for specific weather events. They also have resources for children and businesses.
If a natural disaster occurs in the middle of the night, it helps to have an NOAA weather radio with a tone alert. These life-saving devices will let you know if any weather events, such as floods, thunderstorms, or tornados, could be affecting your area. And because they also operate on batteries, they'll still work during a power outage.
Other Important Tips
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind as you prepare for natural disasters.
Scan important documents
Even if you take extra precautions, paper documents may not survive a natural disaster. That's why it's always a good idea to create virtual backups of all important paperwork and save them to an external thumb or hard drive & cloud storage system. Birth certificates, medical records, credit card info, passports, medications, proof of address, insurance paperwork, and photos of your home are all things you should consider scanning.
Keep cash on hand
In the event of a mass power outage, you may not be able to use your credit and debit cards or access an ATM. Consider keeping a cash emergency fund in place to handle your expenses during a disaster. Many experts recommend having at least $1,000 to $2,000 set aside to prepare for unexpected events. Although you may have to save up a bit over time, having that safety net is definitely worth the peace of mind!
Prep your home
Your home is one of your most important investments, so you'll want to take a few extra steps to keep it safe. You may want to install impact-resistant windows and doors, cut down dead or oversized trees, and patch any leaks to prepare for a natural disaster. Don't forget to take some time to review your insurance policies, too. It's always a good idea to know what's covered...and what isn't.
Looking for More Information?
We'd love to help! Contact the CindyDTeam for more information—we're always on hand to chat even after we've helped you buy or sell your home. Be sure to check out our other local resources to stay up-to-date on everything happening in the Kansas City area.