How to be prepared for severe weather

This week is severe weather awareness week and Tuesday TMs focus is on tornados.

Even though the statewide tornado drill was cancelled because of the possibility of real tornados, the National Weather Service is still urging Missourians to make a plan for tornado season.

University of Missouri Extension Emergency Management Specialist Eric Evans said in a press release that every home needs a safe room and a disaster supply kit.

Evans said a written family disaster plan should be included in every supply kit.

"The most important thing you can have though for your entire family is your family disaster plan and that plan can be in the kit or somewhere else but this plan tells everyone in the family what you are going to do when an emergency occurs, very important to have, Evans said.

The disaster kit should include supplies for everyone in your household including pets.

Ready to eat canned meats, bottled water, a first aid kit, battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries are just some of the things needed for a disaster supplies kit.

Having extra cash in the kit is another good idea.

"Today you buy a flashlight, next week you buy a gallon of water in two weeks you buy a cheap AM/FM radio that's the way you do it you slowly build it over time you don't have to go spend hundreds of dollars at one time to get a disaster kit you can build it over time and it is very cheap that way," Evans said.

Evans said many homes in the Midwest are built on slab foundations, without a basement or a designated reinforced safe room.

So you can imagine a two-by-four going 250 miles per hour can do a lot of damage, Evans said. So, that TMs why we get below ground or in a safe place to shelter ourselves from flying debris. That TMs what kills people.

Evans uses a display model of a 6-foot by 8-foot storm shelter as an example of a simple but effective structure. He takes the safe room to fairs and conferences for public display.

The walls are reinforced with 2-by-4s and made of multiple pieces of plywood and sheet metal. The safe room could be built by a homeowner with basic carpentry skills for roughly $2,000.

To learn more about safe rooms or how to build a disaster supplies kit click on the link below.