Tornadoes

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By Brian Lada – AccuWeather

A major severe weather event is set to unfold across the northern U.S. Plains and Canadian Prairies on Monday and Monday night with possible large, damaging tornadoes.

The threat will come as a potent storm system swings eastward out of the Rockies, providing ample energy for severe thunderstorms to tap into an area from southern Manitoba to Kansas.

“There will be a lot of energy clashing with a surge of heat and humidity coming northward from the Plains,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

All of this energy will contribute to the intensity of the thunderstorms on Monday into Tuesday, bringing the threat of tornadoes.

In addition to tornadoes, thunderstorms are also expected to produce damaging winds, hail, frequent lightning and torrential downpours as they develop on Monday and roll eastward through Monday night.

More continued coverage at AccuWeather: Violent Storms to Bring Tornadoes to US Plains, Canadian Prairies Monday

By Becky Elliott – AccuWeather

The central and southern Plains will continue to be pummeled by strong storms for the next several days, but the most potent severe weather threat is likely to be during the Mother’s Day weekend.

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and flash flooding are threats each afternoon this week.

“This will be an active pattern for the Plains this week,” said AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity.

The active pattern looks to intensify even further as we head into the weekend. May is the peak of tornado season for Tornado Alley, so this outbreak will not be unusual for this time of year.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Andrew Gagnon, “A potent upper-level storm system will move into the central and southern Plains Saturday afternoon.”

All of the ingredients will be in place for Saturday to unfold as one of the most substantial severe weather outbreaks of 2015.

More continued coverage at AccuWeather: Kansas to Texas Face Severe Weather Outbreak, Tornadoes This Weekend

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On average, most survival advice is more focused on surviving some grand apocalypse rather than some of the more common disasters that strike each and every day. However, just because these emergencies are more localized and less catastrophic doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for them. Therefore, let’s take a peek at some tips focused specifically on surviving these short-term disasters so that you’ll truly be prepared for everything

One key thing that doesn’t change

It should be emphasized that although there are differences in mentality and gear for shorter emergencies, one key point remains the same regardless: you and your family’s survival. People die from lack of preparedness during hurricanes and tornadoes just like they do during an economic collapse or EMP strike, so you should always have the necessary stocks unique to your family’s needs in order to meet basic survival needs. Shelter, food, water, and needed medications are still valuable!

A difference in focus

Generally speaking, most short-term disasters are focused in a specific area such as a particular town or state. As such, aid from unaffected areas will usually be quick to arrive and help restore power, medical facilities etc. This means that beyond the initial disaster your focus will probably be less on surviving as more on rebuilding and clearing debris to allow normalcy to resume as quickly as possible. Your preps will be useful for helping neighbors and maintaining comfort more than they will for basic survival. As such, preps made with an eye towards short-term preparedness will have a focus more towards immediate use rather than long-term sustainability.

For example, long-term survival might be better served with renewable and rationable sources of food like gardens, livestock, and self-replenishing wells for water but in the short-term a stack of MREs and some clean water in milk jugs would serve just as well without the need for rural living and the expense of maintaining a small farm. You have more flexibility in your options during a short-term emergency, which can allow you to be better prepared even if your location and budget aren’t 100% perfect.

Be ready to work with others

Generally speaking, a long-term disaster necessitates focusing on keeping your own dependents (family, friends, and other group members) alive first and foremost. It’s simply impractical to keep thousands of people alive on your minuscule stocks for any length of time during an economic collapse or war. During a short-term disaster though, your resources might be better used to help the community around you in order to get back to normal life as quickly as possible.

Not only does this mean that your current prep stocks might be helpful in giving a drink or bite to eat, but they might also greatly speed up transportation or facilitate repairs in some way. For example, having a generator and some extra fuel stocks could allow you to fill up neighborhood chainsaws and light up the streets so that you can work with your neighbors to clear fallen trees or home debris out of the road. This is a major shift from long-term thinking, since the nearness of overwhelming support means that most of the honest but unprepared folks near you will probably be helpful during a short-term emergency rather than turning into the Golden Horde.

Of course you don’t have to help anybody at all and its always up to you…but if your goal is to restore the common comforts and conveniences of modern life lending a helping hand could be to your benefit.

Some items that would be profitable to stock for short-term emergencies:

  • Comfort medications with short expiration dates. Allergy fighters for example, are much more useful when you know that you’ll be able to replenish your stock fairly quickly.
  • Rugged transportation suitable for less-than-perfect roads. In my area we have occasional power outages that can last for weeks at a time if the town where the power plant is located is heavily damaged. Being able to drive on roads that aren’t perfectly clear (mildly flooded or covered in deep mud, limbs and branches in the way etc) allows us to leave for areas where stores are still open, ice is still available, and we can stock up on extra fuel. A few spare tires wouldn’t go amiss either owing to the amount of splinters and nails that can decorate roads after a disaster.
  • Radios, including HAM radios. During the initial stages of a disaster, it can be helpful to get timetables for when aid will arrive, as well as the locations of emergency crews. For people who might suffer from heart attacks or injuries during the initial disaster, being able to send word through the HAM line that help is desperately needed could also be vital. Little handheld walkies can help coordinate neighborhood watches or be a way to convey information to local emergency personnel.
  • Ready to eat foods. If you plan on helping your neighbors out for a few days, you might not be able to trust that they’ll have emergency means of cooking food or boiling water. Having ready-made prepackaged foods makes things easier, particularly if you’ll be out working with a volunteer group of locals.
  • Portable water. Water bottles and gallon jugs of clean water could be much easier to spread around than a single water filter.
  • Solar or generator-powered lights. Not only do lights help deter looters, but they can also help people move about in the evening when they’re finishing up work or performing emergency first-aid in the dark.
  • Basic construction materials/tools such as screws, nails, and hammers. Although you may not be bartering here, it could still be a big deal to seal up a roof with holes in it or to shore up a partially collapsed building. Anything you can save from further damage until repairmen can arrive and fix things properly with all the right materials could be a big help. Sealing tapes that can cover over or temporarily slow gas or water leaks could also be a lifesaver.
  • Firefighting materials. A fire from a broken gas pipe or just general damage and mayhem could destroy more than the initial disaster if they’re not put out quickly. Having a few extinguishers on hand to give out to trusted individuals could keep you safer too!
  • Knowledge to share. Know how to explain to people how to turn off their electricity, gas, and water to their home to prevent leaks. Be able to explain to untrained people how to bandage or splint minor wounds until real EMTs arrive. Unlike a long-term situation where knowledge focuses on how to last in perpetuity with only a few people, in this short-term situation you’ll want to be delegating tasks and explaining things to many others.

And these are just a few things you can do to be better prepared for those short-term emergencies. Since these are by far more common than the larger-scale ones, you would do well to be prepared in this area as well!

Your thoughts?

What would you do to prepare for a short-term disaster? Let us know in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Tips for Surviving Short-Term Disasters