Tornado Preparedness Day: Create a family disaster plan

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – The disaster in the Pacific is a stark reminder that weather emergencies can come at anytime. Which is why statewide tornado drills and reminders like we saw today are even more timely.

The peace and quiet of Fenwick and Carter Streets in Henrico County was uprooted not too long ago. Trees were torn from the ground, and thrown about. Twisted and tangled.

"I had to push one of the trees out of my doorway to get out," said Jamie Webb in October 2010.

Neighbors still talk about it to this day.

"It was a disaster. It looked like you could have something and then be taken away from you," one neighbor said.

John and Leah Stone's house was practically buried in trees.

"The tree came within two inches of our house and two inches of our car. I mean we were blessed," said Leah.

The Virginia Department of Emergency says we shouldn't let these memories fade. Now is the time to make a plan with your family...just in case.

"You really want to look at your house. If it's a one story house you want to get in an interior room at the lowest level of the house with no window. If you have a basement that's the best place to go," said Bob Spieldenner with the Virginia Department of Emergency.

He says Virginia has seen more than 60 tornadoes in the last three years. 220 people have been injured. The tornadoes have done millions of dollars in damage.

"We tell people no matter what the disaster is. It's the same steps to do. Get ready. A kit, have a plan on what you would do with your family and just stay informed," Bob said.

Emergency officials say it only takes a few minutes to make a family disaster plan. Minutes that could make a major difference in an emergency.

For more information on how to be prepared, or even how to hold an emergency drill, click here.

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