(Family Features) As temperatures heat up across the country, it’s a reminder that severe weather – thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes – can strike at any time.
When these unexpected situations occur, there are time-sensitive needs before and after them. A few simple steps and tips, such as tapping into local resources and businesses efficiently in an effort to regroup, can go a long way toward ensuring you and your family navigate these situations quickly, safely and deftly.
- Create an emergency plan. Talk through possible scenarios and how to respond with your entire family. For example, if a severe thunderstorm occurs, who is responsible for securing outdoor items like lawn chairs and who will grab flashlights in case the power fails? Or if there’s a tornado, where’s the safest place in the house to hunker down? Once you answer these important questions, practice and fine tune your plan.
- Keep close tabs on emerging weather situations. This improves the likelihood that you are aware and able to take steps to protect your loved ones and possessions before a storm. There are numerous apps that provide emergency alerts, and adding these to your smartphone takes just a few minutes.
- Consider special needs. If you have circumstances that would create an extreme hardship in a power outage or other storm-related incident, gather materials to minimize the impact. For example, a cooler may be necessary to keep medications chilled. Also remember to keep a supply of non-perishable food items available, and consider other necessities like access to toilets during an extended sheltering period.
- Check for damage. Once the threat has passed, assessing the damage is a crucial next step. It’s important to know whether your home, vehicles or other property and belongings have been damaged or destroyed. Take photos and write down as much detail as possible, including when and how the damage occurred. It’s also a good idea to gather documentation related to damaged items, such as appraisals and insurance policies.
- Contact friends and family. Don’t forget to let friends and family know you’re OK. If they’re local and may have also been impacted, it’s important to verify their safety once yours is ensured and work with them to clean up as best as you can.
- Take advantage of local resources. Assessing the damage early allows you to quickly contact professionals who can help, whether it’s a roof repair company, water damage experts or anything in between. Knowing whom to trust and use as a service provider can be challenging, but to help consumers find businesses that meet their needs, YP, The Real Yellow Pages® works closely with local businesses to ensure their information is correct, complete and consistent online and in print. In addition, the information found in search results on yellowpages.com and via the YP app is tailored to help consumers find local businesses, saving precious time, which is critical following a storm.
To find more information about what local businesses are near you and ready to help, visit yellowpages.com.
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