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Well, Spring is official here and that means flowers, birds, shorts, and, unfortunately, tornadoes. Although the peak of tornado season is May and June, it's a great time to make sure your family is prepared by creating or replenishing your emergency kit, buying fresh batteries, and updating your family emergency communication plan. While there's nothing you can do to prevent a tornado, you can protect your family by as prepared as possible.

Here are some tips on tornado survival:
 Discuss with your family the safe locations for shelter in the places you are likely to spend time: home, school, work, place of worship, etc. Go to that pre-designed shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, lowest building level, or interior room away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
 Practice getting under sturdy tables and using your arms to protect your head and neck.

 Create a family communication plan for Children and Adults to have. Put copies in children's backpack and in your wallet or purse.  
 Designate an out of town friend or relative to act as a contact point. If family is separated, have family members check in with contact person. Texting may work best during disasters because text messages are easier to get through when phone calls cannot.  
 Make sure to address what to do with pets, family members with needs, shutting off utilities, etc.
 Practice your plan twice a year to update and correct any issues that arise.
 Assemble/Replenish Disaster Supplies Kit: FEMA recommends three days of food and water for each member of the household, including pets. You can assemble one yourself or purchase a pre-assembled kit from many local shopping clubs. Store items in your household designated safe location.
Some items to make sure to include are: flashlight & batteries, emergency radio, First Aid kit, whistle to signal for help, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, medications, and copies of important family documents: insurance policies, identification, bank account records in a waterproof, portable container 
For a more complete list, check out FEMA's
Basic Emergency Kit List and FEMA's Pet Emergency Kit List
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