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Tips on preparing for severe weather

BENTON — Severe weather has the potential to occur at anytime under the right conditions, which means we should always be prepared.

Folks across the south experienced the power of nature over the weekend, proving a tornado outbreak can occur in the middle of winter. It’s a reminder that always having a plan is vital.

Scott Ingoldsby, co-owner of Southern Illinois Storm Shelters, sells all over the country and says a safe place can save your life when a tornado hits.

"When we do have F4s or F5s, no matter what you’re living in, you need to be in a very safe place, whether it’s underground or above ground, it needs to be something designed for tornado protection," Ingoldsby says.

Having a safe place to go during severe weather only makes for a good first step. We also need a preparedness kit ready to go in our shelters.

"In your preparedness kit, we always recommend that you have non-perishable food, flashlight with extra batteries, a severe weather radio or an AM/FM radio so you can monitor the news and figure out what’s going on," explains Franklin County EMA Deputy Director Gary Little.

He stresses that times of emergency do not give us time to think of a plan, and Ingoldsby agrees. Texas Tech University tests his shelters to make sure they can withstand tornadoes.

"It’s an insurance policy," Ingoldsby says. "Something you hope you never need, but if you need it it’s there, and it gives them a very good piece of mind. If a tornado is coming, we don’t have to run down the street or run down to the local community shelter, we have something we can get in within seconds."

Those seconds could save your life.

Ingoldsby has a variety of shelters to choose from if you want to add one to your property. To see a list, click here

To see a list of list of severe weather preparedness tips, click here.

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