It’s Important to Be Prepared – How I Do It!

Thank you Walmart+ for being so awesome, sponsoring this post, and making my life so much easier and prepared!!!

Kevin has come around to the helmet side! Ha! If you follow me on Instagram then you probably have been laughing along with my helmet story. I stand by my decision to get them even though I might’ve been a little paranoid when I originally ordered them. Ha!

1. HELMETS | 2. NOAA WEATHER RADIO | 3. FLASHLIGHT | 4. WHITE BLOUSE

Be Prepared!

In all seriousness, when we had intense storms a couple weeks ago and I wasn’t really prepared. I hated that feeling. I had an emergency kit for earthquakes when we lived in California, but I didn’t really have a plan for natural disasters like tornadoes here in Nashville. So that storm definitely lit a fire under me to get prepared. While getting prepared I realized more and more, not that I hadn’t known already, how helpful my Walmart+ membership is. I’m telling you, I have saved so much money in my shipping costs alone since I signed up, that it’s already paid for the membership three times over. This blog is an example of where it was helpful when I was feeling a little frantic and felt super grateful for it.

Because I felt so unprepared for a natural disaster, I really wanted some things and wanted them quickly. I thought about running out to Walmart and picking some things up, but I had so much else going on that I decided to jump online instead. That said, I will say that when I do go into the store, I love that I can check out on my phone using the mobile scan & go benefit in the Walmart app. It gets me out of the store quickly and allows me to have an easy and contact free check out which I really appreciate. I’m all about social distancing as much as possible when I go to the store.

1. HELMETS | 2. NOAA WEATHER RADIO | 3. FLASHLIGHT | 4. WHITE BLOUSE

Even though I felt super anxious to get things like flashlights and helmets, I knew that if I ordered things on walmart.com they would come quickly with my membership. One of my absolute favorite things about Walmart+ is that you get free shipping from Walmart.com with no order minimum. But just an FYI it excludes oversize, freight and Marketplace items, but that’s it.

When I was on the site, I bought the helmets, the Midland NOAA weather radio, and the Dorcy lanterns. Oh and they are solar powered lanterns because you never know how long you could be without power. After I placed the order I realized I forgot to order a couple flashlights. So I threw two Dorcy LED flashlights in my cart and because I have a Walmart+ membership I got free delivery even though my under order was under $35.

 1. FLASHLIGHT

As you can see above, it tells you when an item is eligible for free shipping before you even add it to your cart! I can’t even tell you how many times this feature has come in handy. Whether it’s realizing I need to order a battery for our security alarm, or a new pair of shoes for Riley because he outgrew his. I love that I get free shipping no matter what I spend. I can spend $5 and get free shipping or $30 to get free shipping. It’s just the best!

Quite frankly I feel like as a parent, I’m always forgetting things or needing something small for Molly or Riley that I forgot to pick up. So having this benefit of free tw0-day and next day delivery has just been helpful on more occasions than I could possibly count. If you didn’t get a chance to read my last blog about how Walmart+ helped me keep the kiddos busy I highly recommend checking it out to just see other instances where it could be helpful to you like it is to me.

Free Grocery Delivery

I also think the Walmart+ membership can save you guys a lot of money when it comes to grocery delivery. We’ve been getting our groceries delivered 80% of the time for the last year and we plan to continue doing that now that we realize we can help keep our family healthy, even well beyond the pandemic. All the little charges that can come with some delivery services really add up! So I absolutely love that with my Walmart+ membership, I can get free grocery delivery from our store (you have to spend $35 and some restrictions apply).

Save Money on Gas!

Also I know a lot of people have been choosing road trips over flights and I suspect that trend will continue. So the fact that you can save 5¢ per gallon on gas at Walmart and Murphy stations is just an awesome bonus! On top of that you have access to member pricing at Sam’s Club fuel centers. So over time, you’re really going to see all the savings add up to well over your membership price.

Take Advantage of my Affordable Fridays!

One thing I want to also add if you’re a fan of my Affordable Friday posts, when you’re a Walmart plus member, you will be able to buy as many individual items from my Affordable Friday posts and get free shipping. For example, the white blouse I am wearing in these pics was part of my last Affordable Friday post and it’s only $24. Seriously it’s one of my favorite shirts ever.

With a Walmart+ membership, you could order the single shirt and get free shipping. Normally you’d have to put $35 worth of items in your cart to get it shipped for free. So I just think this is another way the membership will come in handy if you are a fan of my affordable Friday posts. Or say you want to by the $12 t-shirt or $27 jeans I talked about in last week’s Affordable Friday post – pictured below. You can get either item shipped for free and only buy one product. I guess I just feel like it further benefits me overtime because a lot of times I would throw extra things in my cart to get the free shipping and now I don’t have to. I buy what I need.

 1. PALE YELLOW TEE | 2. LIGHT BLUE TEE | 3. $27 JEANS

Do You Have Walmart+?

Do any of you reading this have Walmart+? If you do, what are you loving about it? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Also if any of you have any other recommendations for things I should buy to add to our emergency kit please tell me below – I truly appreciate every single suggestion!

And last but not least, I leave you with how Kevin has decided to use his helmet. Ha!

HELMET

93 Thoughts

93 thoughts on “It’s Important to Be Prepared – How I Do It!

  1. I am loving Walmart+! We decided not to renew amazon prime (could barely get 2 day shipping anymore) and went with Walmart+ instead after I saw your stories. I love it! It’s so much faster than prime! And you can’t beat Walmart’s prices.

    1. I am so glad you love it! Sometimes when I order thing is say next day shipping but then it will be on my door THAT NIGHT! It’s awesome 🙂

  2. A generator! So good for when you lose power and some can be built right into your house during the build!

    1. We had one we live in California and I remember we spent a lot of money on it. Like $500 or some thing. But we had to sell it for next to nothing when we moved because it wouldn’t fit in our shipping container. We will definitely have to invest in another one! Thank you!

  3. Growing up in Ohio we saw tornadoes and threats of quite often. 95% of the time it never resulted in anything. Just a fun time to hunker in our basement as a family, playing board games with the local meteorologist on tv. My mom always grabbed flash lights and shoes for us just in case we needed to walk through rubble. Welcome to the East coast! One day you’ll watch the storms from your backyard and not bat an eye.

    1. Yup! I can’t help but chuckle just a little at the helmets! But, when you don’t experience this, you tend to panic more. I always, say less is more. As long as you’ve got flashlight, batteries, water, some blankets. you’re good to go.

    2. I so badly wish we were going to have a basement in our new house but we don’t. So unfortunately I feel like it’s going to be a standing in a little bathroom with not enough room to even sit down. So I’m gonna have to look into a storm shelter that would be more comfortable.

      1. Honestly, a basement isn’t always the safest. I’ve heard plenty of stories of people dying in basements. That’s not to bring fear, but just to say, a closet or bathroom towards the middle of the house can be just as safe. Tornados are a big gamble. Also, our weatherman pushes helmets for warnings. He said a lot of deaths and injuries come from being in hit in the head from flying debris.

  4. Fill the tubs up with water (for flushing the toilets) and get a bunch of solar lights and put outside until night time. Then put them around your house and you will have light! 😊

    1. Thank you for this! I did get one solar light but maybe I’ll have to get more. And I never thought to fill up the tub so thank you so much for this!

  5. I’ve spent my entire life in the Midwest with lots of tornadoes. Flashlights are all we’ve ever needed. A generator is great, if possible. Don’t over think it. It’s just a storm. If you don’t go outside during it, you’ll be fine. Unless there’s a funnel cloud headed directly for your home, not even a reason to hide in a basement. You’ll have plenty of warning and time to shelter if it’s ever needed.

  6. I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life so tornadoes are kind of our known weather threat. Helmets are great. They actually saved a few lives when the Joplin tornado happened. Other than that make sure you have shoes quick to put on, blankets, flashlights, a weather radio, charged phone and pillows. People often forget shoes but if something were to happen ,heaven forbid, you need to be able to safely walk over broken glass. Snacks are great too if it’s one of those nights when you have to go down to the basement over and over. It will be okay! Making sure you and your kids understand and respect the tornado sirens is the biggest thing. We often ignore them in the Midwest because we grow used to them happening with no real damage. Some more serious tornadoes in the last decade have helped people take them more seriously.

  7. Tornado damage is a large concern but also the after affects. Make sure that you have a lantern for every member of the family and for around the kitchen/house. Down here we prepare a lot more for power outages for long periods of time. So also have a cooler and frozen packs to save your food from going back. Also fill the tubs to flush the toilets!

  8. Things to make the space you’ll be in (I.e. basement) more comfortable. A mattress, blankets, etc. don’t go down there barefoot! Remove anything in the basement that are loose items that could shift around and possibly hit someone. Snacks and non-perishable good. Water.
    Kinda gross to think about … but a way to go the bathroom. There are portable toilets (lightweight and super easy to move around) that people who’ve had surgeries use if they are unable to easily get to a bathroom (can purchase at medical supply store).. Toilet paper! Plastic bags to empty portable toilet’s contents into. Hand sanitizer. Some sift toys for your kids (I.e. stuffed animals). Toys most kindly won’t “fly around” in a basement bc you’re in a safe space – but jus in case -no toys made if hard objects like metal. I hope this list doesn’t sound too exhaustive or overwhelming.

  9. We have spare tennis shoes, flashlights, extra batteries and at least two luminaids in ours, along with snacks and water.

  10. First Aid Kit
    Extra batteries
    Put blankets and pillows in area you will go ahead of time
    Water bottles
    Battery operated Lantern- typically in the camping section.
    Write your kids name with a phone number on there hands along with you both -especially if the weather is getting nasty
    Pack a bag of clothes & undergarments & put in a backpack along with toilet paper.
    You probably have this but extra charged phone chargers..keep in backpack or a bag.
    Easy snacks
    I know this is scary for you! I’ve been through several hurricanes & having things ready just in case is smart!
    I’m in Bluffton South Carolina & we’re projected bad weather Thursday. We don’t have basements but do have a bathroom in the middle of the house I put everything in if the weather gets nasty. Good luck & y’all will be ok!

  11. You can get bathtub bags for water in order to keep it clean and available for a variety of uses. Further invest in a way to cook food. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing hundreds of dollars of food spoil. We typically have two bags charcoal at all times and we have a camp stove with additional fuel. Being a lifetime Florida resident, you never know when a hurricane will hit and sometimes you do not have much warning. Following that note we invested in a large yet cooler to help keep our frozen perishables frozen as long as possible while electricity is out.

  12. To be prepared: Matches or lighter sticks, candles, batteries of all sizes, flashlights, battery operated radio, snacks, bottled water (both drinking bottles and gallon jugs), canned goods, and a safe that you can put your mega important stuff in (like a fire safe/something heavy): passports, IDs, credit cards, cash, photos, jewelry….etc. Oh, and a propane camping stove is HUGE for power outages, especially if you don’t have a generator.

  13. My husband is a flashlight nut! He recommends the usb rechargeable ones. He also has a headlamp…🤦‍♀️ I guess you never know when you need a light and both hands? Bottled water is another must.

    Difference between warning and watch…think baking. Watch- all the ingredients are there but not together yet. Warning- the cake is done. All together and spotted in the area.

  14. We keep a bin full of non perishable foods/snacks and a case of water in the area we shelter in. We have a hand crank/solar NOAA radio in there as well. Also, have an NOAA weather radio in our room to hear if it goes off at night while we’re sleeping plus several apps. Should always have multiple backup alerts. We use the red cross app and a local news weather alert app. Also make sure you have downloaded on your phone a way to watch the news while you’re hunkered do you know what’s going on and where the storm is at any point. We have HULU so I can watch the news on my phone while we are in our shelter. Also, have helmets which you have, someplace comfortable to sit because you could be in there for awhile while the storm passes. Many storms are a series of one after another so it may be safe for 20 mins then another threat happens. Last year there was a couple hours we had to wait because the storm line kept creating new threats one after another. We also grab iPads for the kids, some toys to keep them occupied and make sure to put a spare phone charger in your storm bin. I’m also crazy and keep an extra set of face masks (now that we’re in covid times), a hand sanitizer and Clorox wipe pack.

  15. I forgot to add! With little ones we have a little portable potty and toilet paper just in case. If someone has to go potty while we’re waiting they need somewhere to go!

  16. Weather radio, shoes, extra batteries for the flash light/radio and charge your electronics if you know a storm may be coming. A small Honda type generator is great if you’re super anxious but more than likely not needed. Bottles of water. Make sure you have a plan for Owen – chasing animals to get them to your safe spot and then making sure they stay close is sometimes the biggest struggle.

  17. I also close all the blinds if there’s time and shut the doors to all the rooms. Something about the pressure of storms it’s supposed to help with?

  18. Hi Ali! I’m pretty sure your emergency kit should be just about the same as your earthquake preparedness kit. We moved from California to Florida and our hurricane items are basically the same. Best of luck, you’ve got this!!

  19. Everyone should have hard sole shoes. Also an air horn! You can always do glow sticks too – acts as a light and makes it a little less scary for the kiddos.

  20. Good Morning! I live about 2 hours south of Nashville and I moved here from Florida. After about 2 years I did convince my husband to put in a storm shelter but I also have a whole list I go through before each storm.
    1. All of our important paperwork
    2. Hard sole shoes in case there was a tornado and you have to walk over debris
    3. A change of clothes for each family member/ diapers if you need them
    4. Any Medications we need
    5. An air horn, a fire extinguisher, flashlights
    6. A first aid kit
    7. Snacks and water/ baby food or formula if you need it.
    8. A blanket
    9. A phone charger, extra charging blocks, my purse, car keys
    10. Dog food and leashes
    11. I take photos of every room and it’s belongings every storm season for insurance purposes

  21. At the beginning of spring every year, I put 2 cases of water in our sub basement, along with a snack pack of snacks that have a long expectation date and dog food. I’m from Joplin, so I feel like a lot of people who were trapped in their basements didn’t prepare food wise. We also ensure we have our blanket bin filled and pillows. Our small generator stays in the sub basement heat round, and we charge our flashlights in the sub basement, so we aren’t rushing around looking for them, making sure they are charged etc. like the rest, at the beginning of spring, I ensure each person has a bag of personal stuff. Extra tooth brush, toothpaste and a change of clothes.

    I hate storms, so I’m a bit of an over preparer.

  22. So the big thing is just have flashlights, batteries, battery operated phone chargers, blankets and have everyone have shoes on. That way if it hits your house you are not barefoot. Finally water and protein bars. I put all that in a backpack and keep in the room we will be in with the blankets and stuff so we are ready.

  23. I live In Oregon & my kit is more for an earthquake, storm power outages, etc. I have a full 3-5 day survival backpack in each of our vehicles. In all my disaster kits, I mix in practical with full on disaster specific items. I have buckets of dehydrated meals but also tubs of granola bars, candies like snickers bars, canned stews/chili, dehydrated veggies, pure fruit bars, protein powders, boxed almond milk, a lot of water, hand crank radio, camping type cooking gear, batteries for flashlights, simple medications, disposable bowls/plates/cutlery and much more. I check expiration dates and rotate things out. I have a pretty big first aid kit. I try to think of what would I need if I was treating an actual severe wound or break and couldn’t get to an ED. There are companies that put kits together for you as well. It was because of all of this that when the pandemic hit I had N95 masks, regular masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. I guess you never know how a disaster preparedness kit might end up being used. I make sure we have a fire extinguisher and an escape latter upstairs in case of a fire. Also, we have natural gas and I learned how to shut it off if there’s a disaster.

  24. Make sure to have a pair of shoes for you, your husband, and both kids. Usually when tornadoes happen you are asleep in bed and you don’t sleep with shoes on. If something were to happen you would not want to go traipsing through any debris in bare feet.

  25. I can’t help but laugh at the helmets. Just about everyone here in my midwest area, does not utilize a helmet. Maybe it’s because we’re just so accustomed to these warnings and watches that it’s pretty much engrained in us.

    In all seriousness though, just make sure you have batteries, flashlights, blankets, pillows (in case you’re stuck in basement), water bottles on hand, some snacks. And then we have a fire safe which we keep all of our important documents/etc in. It’s portable so if tornado warnings/watch pops up, we can just haul it in the basement.

    Those are our go tos. Keep it simple yet make sure you have your essentials. You also don’t want a ton of items around you, his forbid your house does get caught in the path of a tornado (think flying debris) Definitely don’t over-prepare too much.

    1. Our weatherman here in Alabama tells us to wear helmets. He said a lot deaths during tornados come from being hit in the head from debris.

  26. Hi Ali, I live in Murfreesboro. I would have a weather radio that Will always wake you up at night. We have a storm shelter and it is total peace of mind. I would get a transistor radio, flashlights, and your helmets and go to your underground room. Once you have your storm shelter, you will not need your helmets. The tornados that come during the night are the ones to worry about BUT, I have lived here fir 18 years and we have only had one near my house. The chances of it hitting your home is minuscule, so just be prepared and alert. It’s all going to be okay. 🙏🏻🤗❤️

  27. Water and snacks. In case power goes out a Battery operated fan. Cell phone charger pack. Blankets. First Aid Kit. Games.

  28. I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life and I’ve never had a ‘kit’ but I do have a few things stashed in the closet for easy grab and go. We have a case of water, some extra batteries, extra cash and a hard drive with financials/pictures for sentimental items, also shoes w/ a change of clothes. Luckily we’ve never had to use anything.

  29. Helmets is not silly. Follow James Spann he is a highly respected weatherman in Alabama , been doing this for manyyyy years and he will always tell you get helmets on during a tornado warning. I keep the local news on during tornado days because they do consistent live coverage and will give you time frames and be able to track the storms closer to your location. Keep the radio on high so it wakes you up in the middle of the night and let the kids hear it a few times before because it is loud and can be scary , but it’s important for them to know what that sound means. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to do everything you need to do so the more prepared everyone is and the kids know THIS is where you go during THAT sound the better off. Stay calm, chances of your home being hit by a tornado are very low , but it’s best to prepared ! Make sure you have batteries for the radio is the power goes out

  30. I have two bags packed that stay downstairs all the time. They have everything we as a family would need if a tornado took all of our stuff. The first bag is a duffle bag and it has clothes for all of us. Clothes as in, pants, shorts, pjs, socks, and underwear. It also has, towels, rags a few blankets too. The other bag is an emergency use bag. It has anything I would need if any of us get hurt.
    When the sirens go off I make sure the kids are downstairs first. I then grab small but expensive things such as my cameras, laptop and the kids tablets. My reason is for if I need money I can sell those to someone and that will get us money for food and shelter if need be. I also grab my purse with car keys in it, jackets for all, along with socks and shoes for all of us. The car keys just in case if we lose our house and the car is not damaged we will have a place to keep warm. After gathering all of that I run downstairs and make sure we all have the socks, shoes and jackets on. Then we just wait. It may be a few minutes or hours before we get an all clear so if your basement is not furnished I recommend making a little bed out of blankets and pillows for the kids to lay down on.

  31. I’ve lived in the Midwest for most of my life. I’ve never been in a tornado but experienced a lot of severe storms and tornado warnings. For my family, we have gotten through flooding and power outages. Make sure you have battery-powered lanterns and a weather radio. I think a generator is not really necessary unless you require a electric medical device to keep you alive (oxygen tank or breast pump, for example) and you can afford to replace the food in your fridge/freezer. Otherwise, it’s nice to have but it is expensive and you have to keep propane on-hand.

  32. Someone already mentioned it, but a generator! An emergency stick of food, an extra first aid kit, blankets, maybe some walkie talkies…

  33. I forgot to add that should also have your pet carrier with you to keep your puppet safe. Animals can get really freaked out during storms so your pet would be safest with you in a carrier.

  34. I’ve lived in Alabama my entire life and we have a flashlight. I think that is the extent of our emergency kit 😂 I can really only remember 1x when we had any damage close to us. I was 7 or 8. We just go to the bathroom with no windows if there is a warning.

  35. Being prepared with the material items is great, but the knowledge of watch/warning terminology and geography of your area is probably most important. I’ve lived in Alabama my entire life and it boggles my mind that some people who have been here forever don’t know these things. It’s obviously different for you because it’s not something you are very familiar with. Pull out a map and be able to find your location and the surrounding cities/towns & especially counties around you. That will help you be prepared to go to your emergency space when you see the possible tornadoes on the radar. It also keeps you from overreacting and causing more anxiety than it should. A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible in those areas. A warning polygon (the highlighted box on the radar for a warning) means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground OR there is rotation and/or a debris signature showing on the radar. If you are in the tornado warning polygon or it is moving towards your location, head to your safe place. James Spann is our meteorologist in my viewing area and he’s the BEST! Check out his Facebook page or Twitter. He gives great information and tips for staying safe! Hope that helps!

  36. Hi Ali. I love watching your stories and reading your blog. The tornado one made me laugh a little. Never have I ever thought about buying helmets to keep my family safe. I would probably use it for nachos like Kevin did 😉 I’m in Toronto and while there hasn’t been a serious tornado since I covered one as a news reporter in 2008 we do get quite a bit of watches and warnings. You do get used to it so hoping you feel more at ease soon. Never hurts to stock up on the flashlights tho. Since I’m not a California girl, I would be terrified of earth quakes (which I’m sure you aren’t so afraid of) so I guess we all adjust to our new surroundings. All the best and keep the great content coming!

  37. A Berkey water purifier is great to have on hand for a disaster scenario. And coffee filters for pre-filters ( for extreme dirty water) It can take just about any water at all, from a ditch or lake and make it completely clean. I would still boil though after treating it. We have the Big Berkey. Some people use them for their home tap water. They offer a filter to remove toxic fluoride from municipal water supply.( Fluoride is tough to remove).

  38. I grew up in West Texas in “tornado ally”. We had a tornado watch or warning mist nights during the spring and summer! One thing my mom always said was to have a pair of sneakers ready to take to shelter in. Because of downed power lines and glass etc afterwards. You’ll need something on your feet!
    You sound very prepared you should be fine!
    I’m sure it’s scary if you’ve never been through a watch or warning!

  39. If you do have to go down to the basement to shelter, be sure you take shoes for everyone with you. In the event that a tornado does hit, you may need to walk through debris when you come up. Fingers crossed, that never happens!

  40. Ali have you considered going to a general chiropractor for your SI? I was skeptical about them and a little afraid but going has changed my life! I see one routinely for neck, low back and SI/hip pain. I was working as a chiropractic assistant for 2 years and lost my job due to covid (they cut staff) and I have seen so many people that it has helped tremendously first hand. They are able to gently adjust your low back, hips and recommend different therapies in office that helped me so much. If you find a good chiropractor that makes you comfortable and educates you, I promise it is NOT scary. Good luck and I hope that you look into this. Love following you and your family and have since your days on Jake’s season. 🤍

  41. “Be prepared, not scared” is what a local Dallas weather man says and it has really helped me. Have your plan in place of what to do when the severe weather is going to happen.
    Make sure you all wear closed toe shoes, helmets, have snacks/water for the kids. Dog food. A large bucket, toilet paper, flashlights, heavy blankets To put over your heads/bodies.

  42. I always keep power banks charged and ready with our kit! I try to have a couple so we can have charged phones if we lose power for too long.

  43. We have all of those in an easy to grab bag so when the storm hits we are ready to go! All of our flashlights, radio, portable power charging and more are all powered by the same battery as our power tools, which makes it so convenient and easy to go!

  44. I wish we could get Walmart+, but we live in a weird part of Orange County that doesn’t have a Walmart very close so we aren’t able to get it yet. Hopefully soon! So glad you guys are prepared. I’ve always thought tornadoes sounded much more terrifying than earthquakes, perhaps because they happen all the time!!

  45. I am so happy to see you prepare for an emergency. Since you won’t have a basement in your new house you need to focus on the MUST HAVES to have easily accessible, and the MIGHT NEEDS to have in a garage or closet near the bathroom that is easily accessible. Must haves in case of severe damage to your home are: Shoes, flashlights, snacks, water, books or games for the kids, at least 1 blanket, 1st aide kit, ID bracelet to put on the kiddos, and all medications that are needed. Now for the might needs in case the house is fine but power is out: Generator, Portable toilet(usually gound in camping section) fill the bathtub with water or get one of those bubble things to fill in the bathtub, a way to cook food like a grill or portable stove, looooots of lanterns (battery powered, solar need sun to work) waterless wipes to wash up, a big cooler and icepacks(I always have icepacks in our deep freezer for this purpose) to keep food from spoiling. I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton of stuff, but that should be a good start. Good luck!

  46. I’ve commented like 10 times already but I keep thinking of other things. I’m originally from the Bay Area and live in Charlotte, NC as of 2 years ago. We have helmets for the kids and I kid you not I take metal bowls in our safe room for my husband and I since we don’t have helmets (yet) ha! Also something I keep in our emergency kit i forgot to mention earlier is an extra few sets of contacts (or glasses if you have spare) and a whistle in case we were to be trapped.

  47. A solar charger for your phones in case you lose power after the storm.
    Whistles for each of you on a lanyard in case you do get hit and have rubble around you, you can use the whistle to attract help.

  48. Hi Ali!

    Here’s my tornado advice. Make sure you have a great portable phone charger. Put on sturdy shoes You want to be an and interior Room on the lowest floor with no windows. And make sure you secure your lawn furniture in trash cans as well as hanging plants because they can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile. Stay safe!

  49. Weather radio is great. May want to get all important docs in a bag, box, etc thats weatherproof and you can grab it and go in an actual emergency. Especially ID, passports, birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, user name and pw info, etc. Anything thats important and hard to replace. Plus keep a small dog crate handy to keep Owen in as its hard to hold a scared dog and 2 kids in an emergency! Maybe also a small bag with some snacks, water, dog supplies and maybe even a change of clothes and a toothbrush! Keep safe! Xoxoxo

  50. Hi Ali and Kevin — please ask Kevin to keep doing his face swap with Riley. It is the funniest thing! Ok so I lived in South Florida and suffered through Hurricane Andrew. Now we are up here in Boston. I take snow over tornadoes and hurricanes any day. What to have: 1. Water— get a case of it. Better yet two cases and keep in basement. 2. Two sets of clean clothes for each person. Just get junk clothes. Cheap ones. 3. Flashlights obvi. 4. Medicines normally taken and medicines like Benadryl and bandaids and bandaids Neosporin, bug spray, stuff like that in a medium size bag left in a cabinet near the exit to go to your shelter area. 5. Put cash in it too in an envelope. Not much just like $300 or so I guess. 6. Extra charge cords. 7. Clock that uses batteries with extra batteries. 8. For seats just get some yoga cushions to sit on. They are easy to move and very comfy and blankets and little toys that the kids have NEVER SEEN BEFORE AND DONT TELL THEM! 9. Toothbrushes and toothpaste. Travel size. 1.0. Battery operated radios 11.. Put all of your deeds, birth certificates, bank records, marriage license etc in a metal box and leave in the same cabinet with the medi bag. Make copies of all of these and put in a bank deposit box or put the originals in a bank deposit box. Your choice. Put your life insurance and all insurance papers in box. Put your wills — you do have a will?!?! — in the box and copies in bank deposit box. 12. Move your car out from under any pine trees as they have shallow roots and fall over easily. Good luck! Do not have alcohol during this because it distorts your thinking.

  51. I went to school to be a meteorologist and now do weather education for little ones. I tell them that a tornado watch means all the ingredients are there, but nothing has happened yet. Like you have all the ingredients for cupcakes but haven’t done anything with them. A tornado warning means there is a tornado, or the cupcakes are made a ready. Stay safe!

  52. Put on shoes and clothes. Have your cell phone and tablets charged. Fill your cars with gas. Have some cash on hand. Ear plugs especially for the children. Snacks handy. Don’t be afraid. The chances of one hitting you directly is very very low. 🤗

  53. Hi Ali,
    I hope you see this before tomorrow’s storms. I was in an EF4 tornado in college in Jackson TN in 2008, so I wanted to share some helpful things I learned. Make sure to keep your shoes on (preferably sneakers or an enclosed shoe) the entire time a tornado watch is issued. Pack a bag for each family member with essentials and keep it with you in your safe place in the event a tornado warning happens. Make sure you take any important documents, medications, phone charger, sentimental items, clothing, under garments, etc. A tornado safe place should be an interior room with no windows (which I’m sure you know)and make sure you close the door. Our meteorologists here provide amazing coverage and give you plenty of time to get to safety, so watch the local news channel for wall to wall coverage during any warnings. Finally, the tornado sirens are loud and can be scary, but they will sound when a warning is in your area. Stay safe!

  54. I don’t think it’s ever dramatic to be prepared! My husband always would fill the bath tubs with clean water but once we had young kids that became a little nerve wrecking! Besides the obvious stuff I would make fun little baskets to keep down in the shelter. Maybe a cute tent or fun sleeping bags and coloring stuff just to make the kiddos feel less anxious! It is a scary thing but it doesn’t have to be traumatizing! I love that you are sharing this btw. Makes people aware and seem less crazy for wanting to be prepared!

  55. Don’t forget Owen in your emergency preparedness! We have a small plastic tote in our safe spot for our pups. 2 days worth of food, unbreakable dish for water, several bottles of water, a spare collar/tag with our contact info, a leash, poop bags and a few treats.

  56. Our weatherman recommends everyone have an airhorn to alert first responders if you’re unable to get out!

  57. Watch the weather channel! If you area is favorable for severe weather they will have a weather expert on and will give you a torcon. The torcon will have a single digit number for your area so if it’s a 6 that means you have a 60% chance of a tornado within I believe a 30 miles radius. Always keep the weather channel on. Make sure all of your valuables are in a safe waterproof box downstairs in the basement. A tornado watch is something that you just need to be prepared for like not leaving your house. A tornado warning means they have spotted a funnel cloud in the area and that’s when you take cover. Make sure you have plenty of water and canned food in the area you take cover in, hopefully a basement not near any windows. I love weather and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Hope this helps! Stay safe!

  58. Hi Ali! I live in Nashville as well and my hometown in Missouri was split in half by a tornado in 2011; I grew up in tornado alley so I’m pretty prepared. First, you need to know that with spring coming we will have tornado WATCHES all the time. It means conditions could be favorable. The likelihood is pretty low for an actual tornado each time. Just watch the weather. You don’t need to worry until there’s a warning. If there’s a warning, get your helmets on, get flashlights, go to the basement. If you don’t have a basement, a room under a staircase with no windows. If you don’t have that, a first floor interior closet or bathroom without windows. Goal is center of the house, not an outside wall, with no windows. Also make sure your phones are fully charged when there’s a watch so if there is a warning, you can check weather. Watch @Nashseverewx on Twitter. It’s your best resource for minute by minute updates on these storms.

  59. Definitely have snacks and blankets/pillows at least ready to take into your safe space. You never know how long you’ll be down there.
    As a kid we always brought cookies, blankets and pillows (the essentials 😉)

  60. I live in NC and we can have snow, ice, tornadoes and hurricanes. I have 2 lanterns with USB ports and a battery TV which come in handy too. My house also has a basement and we have a portable generator. Good Luck

    1. If there is bad weather where we live I always take my purse down to the basement. If something does happen to your house you will want IDs. Also shoes for everyone.

  61. Alabama girl here! Welcome to your first big spring/tornado season storm! Yes, we have seasons for tornados here in the south :/ you have a good plan! Just remember shoes and make sure you go over the plan with the kids. Most important of all is to remember to breathe! I say LOTS of prayers on big storm days lol I know y’all are in Nashville, but our weatherman here in Bama is amazing! His name is James Spann and people from all over the country follow him on fb. He puts out great info on safety and preparedness tips on his fb page!

  62. For emergencies I recommend shelf stable food, bottled water, if you can afford it but a generator to store in your garage if your power goes out. Battery operated items are a must, crank powered or battery operated lantern, candles and matches. Oh, and a fireproof safe for all your important documents and stuff.

  63. Have some snacks, water, make sure everyone knows to put on their sturdy shoes on case there is rubble nobody should be barefoot, bright color tops, find a place in your basement, put some pillows, blankets, you might have to sleep in your safe place. Wind up flashlight if that one isn’t.

  64. Don’t forget to make sure your cell phone is fully charged and look for any sort of cordless charger that you can charge ahead of time and can use if power goes out.

  65. I am Southern MN girl for 30 years (all the tornados. At least 10+ warnings/season). I simply have a flashlight in case we lose power. If it’s a true tornado just get the the interior of the house and hunker down. In a few years you will be out in the garage drinking a beer and watching them drop!

  66. you should partner with Judy, Simon Hicks emergency preparedness company. They even text me this weekend to check my smoke detectors (twice a year with day light savings as a reminder).

  67. An air horn it sounds crazy but if you’re stuck it’s possible that people can’t hear you scream but if you can blow the air horn they can hear that. Also make sure your car is gassed up. Snacks for the kids. Maybe a fun board game or something to keep the clam. I live in Al and these are just some things I do.

  68. Cots for the kids! My sister got two cots that they keep in the basement and try to make it feel as normal as possible when they’re down there so the kids don’t freak out. And if you need to stay down there all night the kids will still be able to sleep comfortably!

  69. Not so much adding to your list but if you take cover because of a warning, make sure everyone has shoes on. By shoes I mean close toed shoes like tennis shoes. This will save you if stepping on dangerous objects in debris if a tornado were to hit.

  70. Hi Ali!! So I’ve lived in Moore, Oklahoma for the last 10 years (lived in Norman, ok for 10 years prior to living in moore). Tornados are second nature for us unfortunately. For us, we make sure we have our “Go bags” ready with a quick change of clothes, under garments, socks, and tennis shoes. We also have medication, first aid kit, flash lights, and batteries. We also got a weather radio for when the power goes out. You won’t need a whole lot because if your house gets taken out, you won’t be able to carry giant bags with you as you walk away. We also take an updated video inventory of all our belongings and take pictures of serial numbers before storm season. And make sure all your important papers (birth certificates, shot records, marriage license, Mortgage info, etc) are all together in a water proof box or bag. To be safe, maybe have those documents in a safety deposit box until you’re settled into your new home. I hope this helps and I pray you don’t witness tornadic weather this week!! I know tonight and tomorrow will be wild across the Dixie Alley.❤️❤️❤️

  71. We just endured a winter storm In Texas a few weeks back. We were all caught off guard. No power for 4 days. We used items we had stored for camping. All items came in handy.
    Rechargeable headlamp you can attach to your helmets,
    Sterno candles can be used for heat or cooking in a pinch,
    Canned food also manual can opener
    Batteries all sizes
    Candles and lighters
    Lantern, we have a hand crank model that was awesome.
    Battery charger for phones, we upgraded ours it has the connectors attached and is solar
    Camping lights(string lights that can be connected to portable battery pack.)

    As you see lights are important in the winter storms, summer storms, and camping.
    A camp stove is not a bad investment either. If storms are forecasted and you have time it’s always smart to keep cars gassed up as well.

    Never worry about being over prepared. I work in emergency preparedness so we live by the motto of prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

  72. Don’t forget to pick up heavy grade tarp. If you have an Ace Hardware by you, they have all the supplies you need. I’m in Florida, so I plan for hurricanes. I was living in Huntsville Alabama, so the supplies are almost identical.

  73. Water, snacks that won’t go bad, special activities and games for the kids so they don’t get scared and they’ll be distracted, portable phone chargers that are already charged, sleeping bags and pillows so you can get comfy if you need to be in the basement for a long while at night, flashlights with backup batteries, lots of candles and matches or a lighter. The more you prepare and understand what to expect the less anxious you’ll feel about it – so who cares what the naysayers tell you about being over prepared!!! You got this mama!

  74. I also have helmets for the kids! Lol. Def have a lot of non-perishable snacks and bottled water. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life and the longest we have ever been in the basement is 2 hours. Usually, storms pass quickly, but sometimes there are back to back storm cells and you feel on edge all day. If strong weather is predicted, I try to have all of our laptops, tablets and phones charged up and I turn off all battery sucking apps so that the batteries will last. This way, you can still watch your local news station or keep up on radar, etc. Theres nothing worse than being on the basement and having no idea what’s going on out there!
    I would also try to find some local storm chaser pages to follow. They’re usually the ones (in my area) that give real time weather info as it’s happening! Also, not sure if you have a basement or whether it’s finished, but I usually take a stroller and blankets if it’s close to a nap time or bedtime.

  75. Kevin LOL I know Ali it’s good to be prepared! But, I’m with Kevin on the helmet. We Indiana people have to stick together ha ha!

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