As I'm watching the news coverage, a few thoughts have come up:
- The value of a storm shelter or a reinforced safe room. Without one, you're really truly at the mercy of the storm and chance.
- Have home owner's insurance! Important documents and proof of valuables (photographs, scans of receipts, etc.) stored at a safe, off-site location.
- In an event of this magnitude, first responders may be hours away. Help will come, eventually, but you need to be able to address immediate medical needs on your own.
- "It happened SO fast" is what we're hearing--about 15 minutes from the storm forming to when it started tearing up the town. Fifteen minutes is not much time. And no one expected a 2-mile wide F4 tornado. Could you bail out and escape the path of the storm by vehicle? Potentially, if you knew the storm's direction of travel and got out fast enough. Run to school, grab your kids and then hit the road? Much less likely.
- Have a place to go if your home is destroyed--homes of family or friends--plus a tent or camper large enough for the entire family.
- The value (again) of diversification--most of us have everything we own in our homes. If that's destroyed, then it is a matter of starting over again from scratch--hopefully with some insurance money to help. A few bags or bins of basics and backups stored off-site would be a huge blessing.
Again, our prayers go out to the many who have lost loved ones, been injured and had their lives turned upside down by the storm.