The thunderstorm that swept through North Texas yesterday caught many off-guard, including myself. I was sitting at my desk inside one of the downtown Dallas skyscrapers when I heard a crack of lightning and a few gasps coming from coworkers. I walked to the nearest window only to gaze out into a dark, gloomy and stormy Wednesday afternoon.
Spring can a rough season for Texans. Texas falls within the dreaded “Tornado Alley”, a strip of land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains that is home to frequent tornado occurrences.
I’ve lived in North Texas for most of my life and have been fortunate enough to have avoided nearly all of the devastating storms that have passed through in the past decade, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be this fortunate forever.
Texas averages 125 tornadoes every year, more than any other state in the country, so it is wise to be “Know What to Do” when disaster strikes.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has compiled an “Emergency Storm Kit Checklist” featuring many items that will help you and your family handle a wide variety of emergencies.
Here are two items that I wouldn’t have guessed to prepare:
Bleach is a critical item in keeping items clean for use by you and your family. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using bleach to clean and sanitize your household after an emergency strikes will prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, illness and diseases.
2. BOOKS, GAMES AND TOYS
If you have young children, keeping them busy can help calm their nerves and allow you to make clear and conscious decisions. By creating a “playful” environment and maintaining a sense of normalcy, it’s likely that children won’t know to worry or even recognize the emergency.