Note From the Storm

The text no one wants to receive: “TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows…”

What do you do when your weather app on your phone sends you this message? I’m writing this from the basement of my house, with my dog and cat. Right now we have power, so I’m charging the phone and my laptop. I’ve grabbed some deeply personal photographs, like my parents’ wedding photo and photos of my son and put them in a plastic bin. My insurance policy is saved electronically, so if something happened, I have ready access to it. I’m monitoring the radar and contacting friends and loved ones.

This isn’t the typical scenario for a Thursday morning in Massachusetts, but it’s one worth talking about. How prepared is anyone to take shelter at a moment’s notice? What can you do when you have about 20 minutes to prepare? Here are some quick thoughts:

  1. Grab your pets. Keep them with you so they can be safe.
  2. Grab anything that you absolutely want to keep and put it in something waterproof. Will the plastic tote survive? Quite possibly, so it’s worth taking the chance
  3. Where’s your insurance policy? Do you have it stored electronically? If not, move on to #4
  4. Charge your electronic devices while the power is still on
  5. Make sure you have phone numbers for your insurance agent stored in your phone
  6. Grab any prescription medications you’ll need in case you will be stranded somewhere for several days
  7. Download the Red Cross App to your phone. You can also get the app in the App Store or at Google Play. Learn more at:

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