The Quad City area is expecting severe weather later today but there’s still time to get ready, minimize property damage and be prepared for what comes next. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these tips for preparing for a tornado or other types of severe weather.

  • Write down all sorts of important information and keep it in a safe place. Include information such as insurance agents’ contact information and policy numbers for auto and homeowner/renter policies; year, model, license plate and ID information for vehicles; contact information and account numbers for bank accounts; and medical/allergy information for everyone in the house. Family members may be separated in a disaster and an injured person may not be able to tell first responders about allergies.
  • Take photos or make videos of each room in your house, making sure to record high-value items such as artwork, electronics or collectibles. Get serial numbers if possible. This makes filling out insurance claims easier and will help jog memories about items that may have been forgotten.
  • Charge phones and laptops, along with portable power packs.
  • Secure outdoor items; put them in sheds or ensure they won’t blow around in high winds.

The most important thing to remember is to take these precautions before bad weather strikes. When a tornado warning is sounded, the safest place to be is in an interior room without windows on the lowest level of the building. Options include basements (away from windows), storm shelters, center hallways and closets. Never seek shelter in a room with high ceilings, such as an auditorium or ballroom.

For more information on preparing for a tornado, click here.