What do you need in case of a tornado? 

With spring on the horizon, it’s important to get prepared for tornado season. In an ideal world, you won’t need supplies, but it’s better to be ready for the worst than in an emergency situation without everything you need. 

In addition to preparing your home and knowing where to seek shelter, having the right tornado season essentials on hand will give you peace of mind and could save your life in an emergency.

Food and water requirements

You should set aside 1 gallon of water per person, per day for a minimum of three days and enough food to last everyone in your household three days. Choose non-perishable goods that can be eaten without cooking, such as crackers, peanut butter and canned beans. Have baby formula and food for any babies and toddlers in your household, and don’t forget food and water for pets, if you have them. 

Clothing

It’s impossible to tell what conditions will be like when it’s safe to leave wherever you’ve been sheltering, and when you’ll be able to return to your home, so keep a cache of spare clothing. As well as at least a couple of standard changes of clothes per person, you should pack warm clothes, such as coats, hats and gloves. Also have some sturdy footwear for everyone in your household, ideally rain boots or work boots, though any closed-toe footwear will suffice. 

Medication

If you or anyone in your household is taking any medications, keep a supply for three to five days in with the rest of your tornado supplies. For medications that require refrigeration, have a cooler ready to go. 

Storing important documents

You’ll make your life easier if you can keep important documents safe during a storm, as getting copies can be a hassle. Gather up documents such as birth certificates, deeds, certificates of ownership, wills and insurance documents and either keep them in a file that you’re ready to grab if a tornado strikes or store them in a fireproof and waterproof safe. 

Tornado season essentials to buy

Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM-FM Radio

Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Weather AM/FM Radio 

It’s vital that you have a radio that gives you NOAA weather alerts so you can keep up to date about tornados in your area and when it’s safe to emerge from your shelter. This one is made for emergency situations because it can be charged with solar power and by a hand crank, plus it can take six AA batteries as a backup. It also features an SOS flashlight beacon and an ultrasonic whistle to help rescuers find you in an emergency. 

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Energizer High-Powered LED Flashlight

Energizer High-Powered LED Flashlight

It’s a good idea to keep several flashlights in your emergency kit in case your power goes out — at least one per member of your household. This heavy-duty waterproof model casts 1,300 lumens, which is adequately bright. It’s powered by AA batteries and keeps going for longer than rechargeable models. Also stock up on extra AA batteries in case you need them. 

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Anker Portable Charger

Anker Portable Charger

You can use a portable charger, or power bank, to recharge your phone and stay connected, which is extremely useful in an emergency situation. This one stores enough power to recharge an average phone around four times, so it will keep you going for a while. Just keep it charged and ready to go during tornado season and make sure you have the correct USB cables you need to charge your phone. 

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Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit

Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is essential to treat any injuries sustained during a tornado, whether or not they were caused by the storm. This kit contains 120 pieces, plus a bonus mini 32-piece first aid kit. Items inside include bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes and scissors. It’s a great choice for emergencies because it also contains a space blanket, ice pack and a glow stick that can be used as an emergency light source. 

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J.R. Watkins Hand Sanitizer

J.R. Watkins Hand Sanitizer

When you don’t have access to running water, hand sanitizer helps you maintain hygiene. This spray sanitizer is easy to use and goes a long way. You can buy it either individually or in packs of six, so choose depending on the size of your household. It’s available in four pleasant scents that aren’t too strong. Thanks to added aloe vera, it’s soothing rather than drying. 

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Reel Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper

Reel Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper

You should always have enough toilet paper on hand when preparing for a tornado. Not only is it useful for the obvious, but also for blowing noses, wiping spills and anything else you might use a cloth or a paper towel for. This bamboo toilet paper is soft yet strong and eco-friendly as an added bonus. It comes in a pack of 24, which is more than enough to see you through an emergency situation. 

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Hefty Strong 30-Gallon Trash Bags

Hefty Strong 30-Gallon Trash Bags

A roll of trash bags is a must in any storm shelter or tornado kit. Of course, you need them for bagging up your trash to keep the area where you’re sheltering tidy, but you can also use them for sanitary purposes if you’re stuck for longer than you thought you’d be without bathroom facilities. It’s not something anybody wants to think about, but it’s best to be prepared if it comes down to it. 

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KitchenAid Classic Multifunction Can Opener

KitchenAid Classic Multifunction Can Opener 

Assuming you have canned food, a manual can opener is a must. Although many cans have pull openings nowadays, there are still cans that don’t, plus these can fail, especially if your canned goods have been sitting around for a while. This KitchenAid can opener is sturdy and reliable, so you won’t be left looking at food that you can’t even open. 

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