Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are You Ready For The Next Big Storm? (Giveaway!)

Last month's series of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the midwest and south was a scary reminder of the power of nature. Seeing entire cities flattened by a tornado was a wake-up call for me to review my family's plan for what to do in case of weather emergencies.

Here in Ohio, our primary concern is thunderstorms and tornadoes. An earthquake is rare, and seeing how we're nowhere near any large body of water in Columbus, any threat of sudden flooding is minimal. Storms, though - they can get pretty ugly around here.

In our house, we have no basement. You'd think that a girl who was home alone in a tornado when she was 12 would have planned better when buying a home, yet I neglected to think of needing a basement. (Note to self: our next house will have a basement.) So if there is a tornado warning, we have to go to our tiny living room coat closet, which first requires throwing everything out of the closet so we can fit in it.

Radio Shack recently released a list of 5 items every family should have in their severe weather preparedness kit, and I was ashamed to realize I didn't even have a kit ready in case of an emergency! Sure, we have flashlights, but I'd have to take a few minutes to find them.

Of course, Radio Shack took pity on my poor preparedness and sent me a kit to make sure my family is ready for the next storm with some great items that every family should have in their home.

Items to put in your kit include:

A weather radio: This one is a must. FEMA estimates that having a weather radio gives you up to eight minutes to move your family into a safe location in the event of a weather emergency. I received the RadioShack® Desktop Weather Radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alerts, which provides local weather and warnings several minutes before other radio and TV broadcast alerts. It functions as a basic alarm clock/radio, but will sound an alarm when a severe weather watch or warning has been issued for your area.


Flashlights: Should the power go out, you can't guarantee it'll be back on immediately. One or two flashlights with long battery lives (like the LED ICON Flashlight Rogue 2, which can keep you out of the dark for up to 75 hours) should be waiting in your safe area. You might consider an emergency flashlight/nightlight as well, like the Etón Red Cross BLACKOUT buddy emergency LED flashlight/nightlight. On any normal night, it serves as a nightlight in the hallway for the kids. But should the power go out, it provides a strong LED beam of light that can be removed from the wall and used as a flashlight.

Portable power supply: Cell phones are useful when the power lines are down, but with heavy use the battery drains quickly. A backup power supply for portable electronic devices, like the Enercell® 2400Ah Portable Power Bank (or the one for your iPhone), is very handy to keep in your emergency kit.

Walkie talkies: So you've got your cell phones and backup power supply, but what happens if the cell signals are down? In that case, long-range walkie talkies can come in handy to keep you in touch with family and friends. I received the Midland® GTX10000VP4 50-Channel GMRS/FRS Radio (2-Pack) for my preparedness kit, which have up to a 36-mile range and 28 extra channels for optimized communication.  They also include an SOS siren that allows you to send out distress/locator signals in an emergency situation. I haven't tried the full 36-mile range yet, but they do very well even across town!

Comfort items: Experts recommend letting each child choose 1-2 items to put in the weather preparedness toolkit, such as a toy, game or personal item to help keep your child/children occupied and calm in the case you have to take shelter for a long period of time. My daughters each chose a stuffed animal and a book to place in our kit in the closet.

We've already had the chance to try out our weather radio. Two nights ago, a siren suddenly sounded from the radio, followed by a voice explaining there was a severe thunderstorm warning for our area. And yesterday the "Watch" light remained lit up all day while we were under a severe thunderstorm watch. The radio is already providing peace of mind - now I don't need to feel like the TV must be on in case a weather situation arises!

Win your own weather preparedness kit!

The nice folks at Radio Shack understand how important it is to be ready for the summer storms, and that's why they not only provided me with a weather preparedness kit, they're also giving a kit to one lucky reader as well! (Kit includes all of the items mentioned above. Except the comfort items - you'll have to get your own for those.)

To enter: leave a comment below telling me where your "safe spot" is in your house. (Where you'd go if there was a weather emergency.) One entry per person. Please be sure to include your email address in the comment or in your profile so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 1 at 11:59pm ET. One winner will be selected by random drawing. Winner has 3 days to respond or another winner will be selected in his/her place. US mailing addresses only.

Good luck!

Full disclosure: I received a weather preparedness kit from Radio Shack to facilitate my review. No further compensation was received, and no guarantee of a positive review was promised or expected. All opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks again to Radio Shack for easing my storm anxiety with a little more preparedness.

104 comments:

abfantom said...

Our safe spot in our house is in the bathtub in the basement.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

Nicole C. said...

Our safe spot is our hallway.

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Brittney said...

my safe spot is the closet in my bedroom. it's large enough to fit all of us (and the dog) and it's centered in the house. we've spent some time in there the past few months.
brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

kygirl said...

Our safe spot is the storm shelter outside, In the house the safe spot is the bathroom.
stanleybilly(at)bellsouth(dot)net

BarFly646 said...

My safe spot is the basement!

Anonymous said...

the interior hallway near the bathroom and stairway.rob,rf60527@att.net

mverno said...

we fell safe in the cellar
mverno@roadrunner.com

AngelaK said...

We go to the hallway. We actually had to use it quite a few times, and one time, it was for an actual tornado.


rainpendragon2684[at]yahoo[dot]com

Janice said...

The bathroom in the center of the house
whit1966@gmail.com

summer said...

Our safe spot is a room in the basement with no windows
summerboyce@yahoo.com

Gail said...

In our bath tub

Sarah said...

Beyond winter storms and the ocassional severe thunder/lightning storm, we don't have weather emergencies, but the kids know that if they are outside and the see lightning, they are to get indoors immediately!

Valkyrie said...

We really don't have a "safe" spot. I would take shelter in the bathroom, but there's a window above the shower. When I'm at home during a tornado warning I typically hang out in the study in the furthest point away from the window.

maverick (dot) of (dot) chaos (at) gmail (dot) com

rayreadb said...

The safespot in my house is the hall closet.

BowieTip said...

The central hallway in our house is our safespot.

Hope to win!

xxbowietipxx@gmail.com

llinda29 said...

"safe spot"is the bedroom closet

Shilo Beedy said...

My safe spot is in the hallway
shilobeedy@gmail.com

naturegirl said...

There is a little alcove in the den that is the "safe spot" in the house

BethElderton said...

We have interior bathroom with no windows,and it is situated off a short hallway, so the door is out of line with any windows. We also have a plan in case of immediate emergency at night that involves rolling onto the floor on the side of the bed away from the window and dragging the mattress on top of us. Having grown up in the deep south/gulf coast, the first thing I do when I expect to stay or work some place is to find the safe spot.
bethelderton59 at gmail dot com

GANDORF57 said...

My 1960's Bomb Shelter!

Amber Barnett said...

We don't really have a safe spot in our house, so if we think a bad storm is coming we go to our friend's house. If I had to go somewhere in our house though I would go to the bathtub.

Amber Marie Barnett
AmberSweeps412@yahoo.com

Loveen4 said...

Our cellar is the safe spot in our home.

Kia89 said...

Our safe spot is the bathroom.
austma7@aol.com

mobrien said...

Ours would be the basement, unless the threat was flooding.

dlhaley said...

Our safe spot is the closet ib my room.


dlhaley{AT}hotmail{DOT}com

Bacallsmom said...

A hallway runs through the middle of our house, so that is our safe spot. But we live in hurricane country, and we evacuate for any hurricane over a Category 2. Of course when we come home, we may still be without power for several days.

bbentry [at] aol [dot] com

Anonymous said...

The safest spot in the home if you have a basement is the northwest corner of the basement.

lhbaskets(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda said...

We would go to our basement.
mintstatesportswear(at)juno(dot)com

samarcy said...

our safe spot is the hallway in the center of our apt.

kendra22 said...

don't really have a safe spot as emergencies here are not too much, but would be in the middle of the house..thanks for the chance here
kendraco22 at yahoo dot com

sweepmom said...

Our safe spot is our basement.

crystletellerday said...

the bathtub crystletellerday@yahoo.com

Joey said...

it would have to the the bathroom i guess.

cjbstar said...

We have a small storm shelter.

mogrill said...

We have a downstairs closet we leave empty for our safe place.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill12@gmail.com

Julie said...

Basement or small interior bathroom

jlafount said...

I'd go with the bathroom. Tub hiding

jeannie said...

i could use them i'm in the middle of hurricane seaseon :-)

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend has really bad storm anxiety! Unfortunately, his "kit" now consists of his duty gun, a small flashlight, and a candle. I would really love to win this kit for him so he'd feel better prepared during storms!

sparklinjen54 at yahoo

jamie.whit said...

Hallway/bathtub
jamiewhittington(at)yahoo(dot)com

amy16323 said...

in my basement
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

Daniel M said...

the basemen for us - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

MTgunfighter said...

Interesting posit...

Where I live, the worst weather is in the winter. Down to -50. So, there isn't really anywhere to go to get away from it.

I carry food, a sleeping bag, fire starter, snowshoes and water when I travel during the winter.

If I am lucky, the water isn't frozen when I need it...

mummytotwoboys said...

Our safe spot is the cupboard under the stairs although I am questioning if that really is safe

mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

elizabeth p said...

Our safe spot is the bathroom, no windows, center of the house. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

jennem said...

Our safe spot is the basement hallway.
Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

Kari said...

Our safe spot is in the back corner of our unfinished basement.

ellie said...

We don't have a basement but we have a bathroom that is right in the middle of our house. It is the safest room in the house.
Thanks for the giveaway!
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Debbie C said...

Our safe spot is a downstairs bathroom with no walls to the outside.

jsc123 said...

Our safe spot is in our basement.
We have bottles water, non perishable foods and blankets gathered just in case.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

Hotsnotty2 said...

Our safe spot is in the middle of our basement, thanks!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

Beth said...

Since we do not have a basement our safe spot is the bathtub in the bathroom in the middle of the house.

db said...

My safe spot is down in the basement next to a 12 cubic yard storage enclosure filled with with rocks for storing heat from my solar collectors.



db_anon2000 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Our safe spot is under our stairway in the basement.
shawnac68@hotmail.com

psnyder said...

Our linen closet in center of house! grammypenny@frontier.com

Erin E said...

Our safe spot is our downstairs storage room that has no windows. Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

Gracie said...

My safe spot is the back corner of my basement.

grace45241 at yahoo.com

paula michele said...

Our safe spot is in the closet under the stairs.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Sarah said...

Kitchen pantry or master bedroom closet are the safe spots in our home.

Lisa S said...

The Basement!

muddy_water_home@yahoo.com

Courtney said...

Our safe sport is the master bathroom.

hebert024 at aoldot com

Jammie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jammie said...

Well, we was suppose to build a storm shelter, but plans changed when my husband lost his job. So we are using out savings to get by, when bad weather strikes we go next door to my mother in laws (rolling eyes) sweepmorey@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

my family recently built a storm sheleter which is now our safe spot!
cmarquez482@ymail.com

amied027 said...

Our safe spot is the bathroom in the middle of our house. Thanks! ard1977@gmail dot com

Miranda Ward said...

Ours is a bathroom in the middle of the house


freebiegoddess03@aol.com

clynsg said...

The hall closet, with the bathtubs as secondary, but both of them are on outside walls.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

leandrew said...

Our 'safe spot' is the bathroom in our daughter's bedroom!

Thanks for the great giveaway offering!

Good Luck and Happy 4th of July Week-End to All!

leandrew_taylor@yahoo.com

Melissa B. said...

Our safe spot is the guest bathroom in the center of the house. There are no windows.

Anonymous said...

Our safe spot is an interior hallway. hanovertomato at yahoo dot com

Mom2anutball said...

Our basement is our safe spot!

Thanks!
fineinsanity (at) live (dot) com

Chisum Crew said...

Our safe spot is the first part of the bathroom where the sink and mirror are. We can close the doors on either side and bring in pillows and blanket. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Our Safe spot is a room in our basement-Thanks for the Great Giveaway! riosamel(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

We have a storm shelter and use that as our safe spot.
romany212(at)hotmail(dot)com

Amy said...

Our safe spot is our storage unit in the bottom floor of our condo building. No windows.

alittlenosh AT gmail.com

sumn said...

We can't get under the stairs in the basement, but we would get under the pool table. It would be great to have a weather radio.

Cataroo said...

Our "safe spot" is in the closet in my son's room. It is a large closet and is in the middle of our home away from windows!

vegan4life said...

bathroom ty.
vivianbl@olg.com

Teresa Downs said...

We had a basement built in our new house because living in the country you really have no warning. My husband and I had bought two weather radios from radio shack. Both are Red Cross emergency radios. One is a crank radio with solar panels, Weather and regular radio, and flashlight. Both weather radios have cellphone chargers in them. I would suggest getting the crank one because it is about the size of your hand so it's easy to carry with your stick in you pocket.

susansmoaks said...

our safe spot is a bathroom in the middle of the house
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

mary said...

in the bathroom or hallway - both are in the middle of the house

jagar0047 at yahoo dot com

Rachel said...

in the dining room under the table

Julie said...

We go to our basement as the safe spot
thanks
aunteegem@yahoo.com

skkorman said...

Our safe spot is an interior walk-in closet!

carolpie said...

Probably our creepy hideous basement! Ick!
spencer1953 at gmail dot com.

js22 said...

I'm not sure whether to choose the basement or the bathroom in the middle of the house! No outdoor exit to the basement, so I'd probably choose the bathroom as our safe place.
Thanks for the giveaway!
email in blogger profile.

Breanne said...

Hmm maybe the bedroom closet? I think that's the only place that wouldn't be a horrible idea!

Anonymous said...

The stairwell!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Liz1961 said...

My safe place is in the hall.

lizardchick61 at gmail dot com

Salleefur/Jesselyn/Jesster said...

The front part of our house is a very very old brick structure with a VERY sound foundation. We've set up the snuggest, most secure area in the front as a kind of shelter with a pantry, water, general suppies, safety and first aid kits, blankets, plumbing etc. Depending on the nature of the catastrophe and the duration, I think we'd be OK - for awhile at least a little while...

jessterlyn(at()aol(dot)com

wendym said...

The safe spot in our house is in the hallway.

wendym at cableone dot net

Erica C. said...

We go into our basement.

Anonymous said...

The middle bathroom. It is away from all windows and very secure.

melissabecker at gmail dot com

Carol c said...

The hall closet in the middle of our home.

bev said...

There's not many safe spots in a mobile home. I guess the safest spot would be in the bathtub. Thanks for having the contest!

Ardy22 said...

Our safespot is in the basement underneath the work bench.

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

Anonymous said...

...in a small room I use as a library down the cellar.

flashlight13114 AT yahoo DOT com

brianpiero said...

Thanks for the giveaway...in severe weather I would use an interior bathroom with no windows i.e. in the bathtub with a mattress to cover us !

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Ours is in the bathroom wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot[com]]

dvice12 said...

The "safe spot" in my house is my basement hall

LuckyTJG said...

My safe spot would be my bedroom doorway.
LuckyTJG at cs dot com

Jim said...

the hallway on the second floor

jim.coyne2@verizon.net

Storm Safety Blog said...

Our house has concrete block walls inside and out, so we would feel very safe in our hallway. Not that my husband wasn't going outside in the middle of Hurricane Ivan to check on things! I wasn't there; I worked at a TV station at the time, so I had to be there.

liliesrnice said...

the bathroom in our basement.