tornadoFor the last month, we’ve had a real rash of stormy weather. No, not that lovely old song, but real stormy weather.

Now I don’t mean gentle rain or light breezes. I mean torrential downpours, terrifying lightning and thunder, and worst of all tornado watches, warnings, and actual touchdowns.

In the past week we’ve had two tornado warnings, with one actual tornado touchdown about a mile from where I live. Fortunately, there was no substantial damage from the tornado, and no one was injured.

During a tornado warning, you are supposed to go to a basement or an interior room if no basement is available. I don’t have a basement, and every room in my apartment is filled with windows, so each time I’ve hung out in a large walk-in closet. I figure it’s interior, and definitely doesn’t have windows.

However, these recent episodes have made my realize that I need to be more prepared for the storms and tornado warnings. Let’s face it, a walk-in closet isn’t particularly comfortable, but there are clearly things that will make it more so. And if my power goes out, I’m completely unprepared.

During each warning, I brought my iPhone into the closet with me,  so I was able to be in contact with friends. During the second warning, I brought in some pillows and actually fell asleep on the floor. I also brought in a bottle of water. This morning, I moved my flashlight to a prominent location in my apartment, in case the power goes out. But that’s about it for my storm preparedness.

Some of my friends have lost their power for hours in recent storms. When this happens, you can’t open your refrigerator, meaning if you want to eat or drink anything, you need to have other sources of food. And with an electric stove, even canned foods can’t be heated.

I’ve been mentally working on a list of things I need to buy, and plan to hit some stores today (as they’re expecting more storms tonight and tomorrow). Right now, my list includes

  • Foil packs of tuna and salmon
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Bottled water
  • Extra batteries for my flashlight

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but should help. Do any of you have any thoughts? If you live in a tornado-belt area, what do you do to be prepared?