Preparing your home, family for severe weather

Posted: Updated:
October 6, 2016 | Courtesy Sarah Alexander - Salina October 6, 2016 | Courtesy Sarah Alexander - Salina
(KAKE) -

It’s Severe Weather Awareness week, and KAKE wants to make sure you and your family is safe.


It’s best to start planning now, so you aren’t scrambling during a threat, said Cody Charvat, interim director for Sedgwick County Emergency Management.

Your plan should include:

• Using multiple resources to get weather information, like KAKE News, the KAKE First Alert Weather App, weather radios or the radio. You should never rely on one source.

• Knowing where to go if a storm pops up, like a severe thunderstorm, flooding and a tornado. You may need a different place for each threat.

• Having a backup plan of where to go, like a friend’s house or a nearby church.

“Usually you can make the best out of what's the lowest level of your home, maybe get inside an interior room, a closet, a bathroom or something like that,” Charvat said. “Bathrooms are great because you can get inside the tub and pull something heavy over you like a small quilt, a small mattress, some big pillows, something like that and that'll protect you from falling debris.”


Our weather team takes pride in helping Kansans get ready for weather throughout the year. There are many resources we have that can keep you safe.

• A good tool to use is the KAKE First Alert Weather App and the KAKE News app. Our team will send push alerts for news you need to know. We also have weather alerts for severe storms. You can see more information the KAKE First Alert Weather App here. It's free for download on Apple or Android devices.

• For your home, a NOAA Weather Radio can sound the alarm when weather alerts are issued. KAKE First Alert Weather is teaming up with Midland Radio to offer all-hazards weather radios at a reduced price for our viewers. The Midland WR 120 is a state-of-the-art digital alert radio that requires little set up and is easy to use. It's available at Dillons, Walgreens & Orschelns stores throughout KAKEland. Our Weather Radio Tuesday events can help you get your weather radio programmed just right. You can find a list of dates and locations by clicking here.

• Educate yourself about severe weather with the Spotter Talks sessions throughout Kansas. Meteorologists from the National Weather Service, in partnership with your local County Emergency Management agency, will prepare storm spotters and weather enthusiasts, like you, for the upcoming storm season. You can see a list of dates and locations by clicking here.


A weather kit can be your key to survival after a storm strikes. You can purchase pre-made kits but making one can save you money. You should have food, water and supplies to last for three days. According to, you’ll the basics in your kit should include:

• Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

• Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

• Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

• Flashlight

• First aid kit

• Extra batteries

• Whistle to signal for help

• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

•  Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

• Manual can opener for food

• Local maps

• Cell phone with chargers, a backup battery or a power bank for your devices

Some other items you may want are over-the-counter medications, like adult and children’s ibuprofen. You’ll want to have a list of prescription medications and dosages. Experts suggest that you also have cash, insurance documents and numbers on hand and items to keep your kids comfortable, like blankets, toys and activity books.


In addition to having things ready inside your home, think about possible trouble outside. Here are some recommendations:

• Check your roof and foundation for leaks

• Trim nearby trees, so if limbs do fall, it won’t damage your home

• Secure your home and reinforce windows with storm shutters

• Bring items inside, like lawn furniture or decorations that could get damaged

• If you do leave items outside, secure them. Heavy winds can blow large patio furniture and toys into your home

Experts also encourage you to review your insurance policy for coverage. If and when a storm hits, examine your policy to ensure there are no physical or liability hazards.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to