Emergency Gear for the Central Region

When you move to the center of the country, you'll be grateful to be out of the way of most tropical storms and hurricanes - but that doesn't mean that this area doesn't come with its own set of problems.

States like Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin are just a few examples of states that can be more dangerous than they seem.

In late April of 2014, tornadoes tore through the country, hitting States from Illinois all the way to florida. Homes were destroyed, lives were lost, and the final estimated cost of the damage was nearly 1 billion dollars.

Emergency Threats in the Central United States

You may think that you're safe if there are no visible threats - because nothing can possibly go wrong beneath a blue sky, right?

Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.

Some of the most common threats in the center of the United States include earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, and blizzards. You may think that it's difficult to be ready for all of these different emergencies, but in reality, it's quite simple.

You can assemble a kit to get you and your family through just about anything. It's just a matter of knowing what's coming your way, and when it will arrive.

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Emergency Preparedness for the Central US Region

About This Article

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Table of Contents

  1. Prepare in the Central US
  2. Central US Natural Threats
  3. Survival Gear for the Central Region

Tornadoes

Tornadoes occur when cold, dry air collides with warm, humid air. The warm air rises through the cold air and causes an updraft - the air swirls, and a tornado forms. Tornadoes can land just about anywhere, tearing up homes and land as it travels.

It can be overwhelming for some to prepare for tornadoes - remember that it's perfectly normal to be afraid, but it's important to not let your fear overwhelm you. Learn the signs that will signal when a tornado is on its way, and have a safe shelter ready for your family.

Your shelter should be underground, or in a room with no windows. Keep an emergency kit in your emergency shelter for the times your family has no time to grab anything.

  • Enough water for each member of your family (including pets)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • A manual can opener
  • Flashlights
  • A battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • A first-aid kit

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are terrifying natural occurrences that can happen at any time. When faults slip, the stress that occurs causes an earthquake - which then shakes the earth beneath your feet, with the potential to destroy houses and other buildings.

If you live anywhere in Central America, you are at risk for an earthquake. To prepare yourself and your family, learn about your risk level and prepare accordingly. If you're on a fault line, have a discussion with your family about how to stay safe during an earthquake.

When packing an emergency kit, be sure to include everything your family might need. Keep everything in your kit up to date, and replace supplies about every year or so.

  • A mask to protect your lungs from dust and debris
  • A whistle to signal for help if you are trapped beneath rubble
  • A first-aid kit
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Enough water for each member of your household - and that includes pets
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Heavy-duty boots

Heat waves

Temperatures can climb to the extreme all over the country - and the center of the United States is no different. Heat waves are most common during the summertime, and are often accompanied by drought.

Since they are so commonplace and you've likely been through a heatwave before, it's easy to prepare for the next wave that comes your way. Make sure you have a way to keep cool just in case your AC or your power goes out. Learn the signs of heatstroke, and be ready for anything.

It's important to pack an emergency kit full of the supplies necessary to combat heatstroke, as well as prepare your family for other smaller emergencies that could arise with the heat. Adjust your emergency kit to fit your family.

  • A gallon of water per member of your household per day - including pets
  • Non-perishable food items
  • A manual can opener
  • Handheld fans
  • Extra water for wetting rags and keeping cool
  • A cooler for drinks and certain medications
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • A battery-powered radio
  • A first-aid kit

Droughts

With heat will often come a drought. A drought is when it doesn't rain for a very long stretch of time - this can be very dangerous, making it crucial to save all the water you can, even before a drought hits.

It's best to start preparing for a drought today. Be mindful of the water you use up - try to shorten your showers and avoid leaving the water running while you brush your teeth. Make sure to keep enough drinking water for your family to last you at least a week.

Be sure to never leave animals or children out in the heat during a drought - make sure to take their needs into account when assembling emergency kits to get you through the next drought.

  • Enough drinking water for each member of your household, including pets
  • Non-perishable food items - preferably food that does not require cooking
  • A manual can opener
  • Flashlights
  • A battery powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Ice packs
  • A thermometer
  • Handheld fans
  • A first-aid kit

A Semi-Chaotic Center

Even when you're landlocked and can't see a threat for miles around, danger can still lurk beneath the surface - or even linger in the air. Thankfully it doesn't take a lot to be prepared for anything.

Come rain or shine, earthquake or flood, you can build an emergency kit for just about anything - and you can rest easy at night knowing you've done everything to protect your family from natural disasters.

No matter what emergency prep kit you put together, it's important to keep it somewhere cool, dry, and accessible.

Start building your kit with our supplies today - we recommend that everyone has their own small kit in addition to a larger kit full of supplies to keep in your emergency shelter. Get started on building yours today!

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3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.

 

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