Severe weather preparedness

Severe weather preparedness

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Severe weather can strike at any time, causing tornadoes, hail and flooding.
Lou Kreidler, Director of Health, says flooded river water can cause problems.
    "It is not so much the things you can see in the water that are dangerous to you," Kreidler said, "but it is those things you cannot see. When you have a river or drainage ditch that is flooded, that usually run really swiftly, you will have a large number of snakes in that area, and the risk of contamination from down stream is high."
But what do people buy to prepare for the storms?
Amanda Bullard, Sutherlands' assistant manager, says sand bags are a hot commodity.
    "Typically every year when it rains, one of the things we sell the most is sand bags," Bullard said. "We have just the empty bags or the full bags, but if there is an area that you know has flooded in the past, you can build a wall out of those sand bags to block the area off."
Bullard says that people tend to forget to buy batteries, which can leave you in the dark once the storm hits.
    "Remember to check what batteries all the flashlights take in your house so you can stock up on those," Bullard said, "because there is nothing worse than your power going out and you realizing after the fact that you do not have any batteries. All the equipment does not do you any good."
Both Bullard and Kreidler say it is very important to have a plan for things that range from protecting your garden to protecting your life.
    "You spend all the time bringing your little seedlings up and then start to get a good size," Bullard said. "Then even just small amounts of hail will wipe them out. So that is something I would definitely encourage people to prepare for."
    Kreidler says that it is a good idea to have an emergency document bag to hold your medications, identification cards, and important legal documents to make sure that they are not lost in the storm.
    "A lot of times after a disaster or tornado, people will not have access to their medications," Kreidler said. "If the pharmacies are down, they are not going to look up their electronic records. So it is really important to have extra medication, and have it in a safe place."

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