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By Nancy McClure

Living in the Midwest, spring is a wonderful time of year with the tulips and daffodils blooming.  But it is also time for tornados, sever weather and flooding.

Have you talked with your parents and looked at their home lately to see if they are prepared for an emergency? If there was a tornado, would they be able to get to the basement or bathroom quickly enough?

When the tornados hit Bridgeton and Sunset Hills recently it was almost impossible to get in and out to check on family members due to downed power lines and trees.  A few years ago residents in North County were without power for up to a week when the ice storms hit.

Right now is a good time to talk emergency preparedness and develop action plans in case of severe weather.  

Make sure there is enough medication, oxygen, etc. in the house for several days.

Make sure there is enough food and water for several days.

Have an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, whistle to call for help, garbage bags, wipes, tools to turn off gas or water as needed.

o Make sure to test the flashlight and change out the batteries.

o Rotate food and water to prevent them from going bad.  Bottled water will go bad over time, especially if it does not contain chlorine.  

Create an action plan for fire, tornado, power outages, etc. Test that plan often.  Make sure the plan includes:

o Placing the following items in a conspicuous place. Many place it on the refrigerator.

Emergency contact information

List of medications and medical conditions

Copy of DNR or Medical Directive

o Steps to follow for each type of emergency

o Sources to help evacuate if they are no longer able to drive.

If they are deaf or very hard of hearing, make sure they have an alert system they will see to know to know of any emergency.

If they have a service animal, make sure there is a location for the animal to go if they must be hospitalized.

The government has a website you can visit to get additional ideas: