Severe Weather: Rick’s advice for planning for the “just incase”

DCF 1.0

It’s that time of the year! Severe weather is headed our way and the possibilities of strong thunderstorms and tornados tend to become relevant in our lives. You’ll hear it a hundred times in the coming days, so let me make it 101. Come up with a plan!


It’s easy to think, “It will never happen to me.” I thought that way until it did happen to me Mother’s Day weekend in 2003. A tornado rolled through South Pekin and Morton, right through my living room. Luckily, I was visiting my daughter at the time but there was enough “information” left behind that I never want to have to face one of those beasts in person. There was plenty to see afterwards.


Don’t make the plan on your way to the basement. That’s like fastening the seat belt after the accident. I made my plan years ago and tweak it as necessary. My plan when living in an apartment changed drastically when I bought a home. The basement gives me sanctuary, but you also become aware of the “What-ifs” than can pop up; stay away from windows, staying close to sturdy brace-like walls or anything that provides support. Do I build a shelter? Do I get a generator? Clothes, extra shoes…what happens if you go down there at night with minimum clothing on and bare feet? If there is damage above you, more than likely there is broken glass and boards with nails around. Think ahead of time. Back-up water, food, snacks, first aid kit…. you can get more from the Red Cross Website.


I also back up all my photos, music and documents on to an external hard drive and put it in a safe deposit box at my bank. The important thing is you want to store it in a location away from you. Whether it’s your bank, parent’s house, a sibling’s house or a friend across the country, get it away from you in a safe place. I saw a guy buying a safe two days after the tornado hit to protect his valuables. I kind of laughed and he looked at me and said, “What?” I told him that his safe will fly really well in the next tornado. He responded, “No! I’ll bolt it to the floor!” I countered, “You don’t understand…the floor is going with it!” The power is unimaginable!


The options are even greater today with the advent of the Cloud, small portable hard drives, thumb drives, etc. I’ve even gotten to the point where I back up my back-ups. It’s too easy to do and trust me, the cost is nothing compared to the heartache of losing your pictures through a tornado, fire, burglary, earthquake…do you want me to go on?


Do yourself a favor and come up with a plan. As good as it will be, it doesn’t do any good after the storm.



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