Rural/Metro recommends packing an emergency kit, with items like batteries
Whether it's tornadoes in the Midwest or local storm damage, the timing of a disaster is often hard to predict.
"Am I prepared, is the first basic question anyone can ask themselves," explained Rural/Metro Chief Jerry Harnish. "People will do what they're trained to d. Whether it's a weather emergency or a fire in the home, they will follow their preparations. So that's why it's very important to have them in the first place."
While it is unlikely a tornado will leave East Tennessee with the amount of damage as the one in Oklahoma, Harnish says it could still be deadly. He advises people to take cover in the lowest level of their house, preferably a basement. If somebody lives in an apartment complex, he suggests finding the lowest, central location -- like a laundry facility.
"If you're out in the open, then things are a little trickier," he said. "But the guidelines are to get as low as possible, certainly lower than the surrounding terrain and try to find things that can protect you from winds and blowing debris."
Tennesseans are also familiar with the dangerous of flooding, icy winters, and fires.
"Have a meeting point, where every member of the family is expected to meet," he said. "It does a number of things: it provides a safe place for people to be, but the second things is, it makes sure emergency responders are not searching for people that are in fact well."
Rural/Metro encourages everyone to pack an emergency preparedness kit, with the following items:
Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit include:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to emergency shelter wherever you are
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with (auto) chargers