Spring storms approach, so could disaster

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – “We never know when the next disaster is going to happen,” said Nikki Wessley, Wabash Valley Red Cross.

This mild looking weather often has the potential to become severe.

And as we head into spring storm season, it’s important to remember, this weather can easily become a disaster for you and your family.

“It’s not if we have another disaster, honestly, it’s when. We know we’re coming into spring time, you have the warm air and the cold air, we’re going to have some storms. Some people don’t think ahead of time about what could happen in a storm,” said Wessley.

51 percent of Hoosiers think emergency response personnel could be at their home in a matter of six hours during a widespread disaster.

That’s according to a recent Indiana department of homeland security survey.

But the reality is emergency responders could take up to three days to get to everyone affected.

“If you imagine the amount of time that emergency responders spend with even one person in a single-family disaster, it’s a lot of time. It could take days,” said Wessley.

So you need to be prepared to sustain you and your family for at least three days.

“Are the roads affected? Can they actually physically get to you? Do you live in a secluded area? Those are things to consider when putting together your emergency preparedness kit,” said Wessley.

More than half of Indiana households in that same survey did not have extra food and water on hand.

And even more didn’t have any kind of extra supplies needed to survive.

“People not having their emergency preparedness kit, it kind of scares me,” said Wessley. “It’s not surprising that people don’t have their own preparedness kit because it’s not something we think about on a daily basis. We have so many priorities that need to be handled right now and it’s easy to put it off.”

But not being prepared puts your family at risk.

“Making sure you can take care of yourself for at least three days after a disaster is one way to make sure your family is safe,” said Wessley.

Officials say if you’re unable to make or afford a preparedness kit, get one item, a weather radio.

That will help in knowing when to get your family to safety.

To see what you should have in your three-day preparedness kit, check out their website.

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