Created: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:19:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 10:13:57 EST
Before severe weather strikes, it's important to stay ahead of the storm.
"Last night people died in this country because tornadoes that happen at night surprise people," Donna Lee, the Disaster Program Manager with the Red Cross, explains.
So how do you stay ahead of the storm and prepare for the worst? Lee says you need a survival kit in your home with enough supplies to take care of your family and pets for three days if you lose power and running water.
Every kit should include the basics, such as three gallons of water per day, food that does not have to be refrigerated or prepared, a can opener, flash light, weather radio and batteries.
Lee warns not to forget other essentials, "Make sure your vehicle has enough gas in it that you won't run out and that you have cash on hand because if power goes out, debit card and credit cards won't be accessible."
If you have small children, remember to include diapers and formula. Also, think about your pets’ needs and your prescription medicine.
Not only should your family have a survival kit, but also a plan in place so all family members know what to do, where to meet and where to go when severe weather hits.
Lee advices to think about these questions, "Where in the house will you guys meet? Are you going to bring your pets with you to that meeting place?"
Lee says planning to handle emergencies before they happen could save your loved one's lives, “Be proactive and not reactive to any kind of storm or potential weather coming in."
RedCross.org has a full list of items to help your family make the appropriate kit that meets your need or you can go to the local chapter of the Red Cross and get a brochure that gives you all the information you need for severe weather preparedness.