Before the Spring Storm — Preparing for the Unpredictable

AdminNews

By Jessica Rapp | Carson City Health and Human Services

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Spring is the time of year when many things change, including the weather. Spring weather is often unstable. Temperatures swing back and forth between warm and cold and sunny days can turn into stormy days. Because spring weather is so random, you may find yourself unprepared when severe spring weather happens. Planning ahead for unpredictable weather can keep you and your family safe. Know what do before the storm!

Know your risk

Know the type of hazardous weather that affects your local area. Then, develop an emergency plan based on those weather hazards. Discuss things with your household such as:

  • What will your family/household communicate during an emergency?
  • Where will your family/household meet if separated during an emergency?

As you discuss these questions, consider any specific needs for your family members. Plan for the necessary supplies they might need during an unpredictable weather event. Think about how other people in your neighborhood can assist with those needs during an emergency. After your plan is complete, make sure to practice it. Show household members where the emergency supplies are stored in the house and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.

Build an Emergency Kit

Keep an emergency kit in your home and in your car. Items to include are:

  • Battery operated, hand-crank, or solar flashlight
  • A weather radio
  • A first aid kit
  • A 3-day supply of food that will not go bad for each member of your household
  • 3 gallons of water for each person in your home
  • Blankets
  • A 7-day supply of important medications
  • Items for pets and children

Prepare your home

As part of your spring cleaning, remember to clean out the drains and gutters on the outside of your home.  Trim trees and remove dead limbs and branches so they do not fall off during a storm and damage your home or a powerline. Check your insurance policies to make sure you have enough coverage for damages caused by weather. Most homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Call your insurance agent to see what coverage you have.

Be informed with emergency alerts

Public safety officials use many systems to alert you in the event of a disaster or emergency. Sign up for your county’s emergency alert system to stay informed during an emergency or disaster. Contact your local fire department to find out how to sign up for the Code Red or Reverse 9-1-1 system in your community. Always listen to local officials. If advised to evacuate, do so.

Severe spring weather is a risk every year in Northern Nevada. Do not be caught by surprise this year! Know the weather risks in your area and prepare yourself, your family, and your home for the unpredictable.  If severe weather occurs, you will be ready! For more information on preparing for severe weather in any season, visit https://www.ready.gov/severe-weather.

Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take an active role in preparing for a disaster or emergency. For additional resources and information about Department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, call us at (775) 887-2190, or visit us at 900 East Long Street in Carson City.