No one is immune from the rage of Mother Nature. In Florida, there’s the chance of hurricanes. California is known for its earthquakes. Oklahoma is no stranger to tornadoes. Severe weather impacts thousands of people. That doesn’t mean one cannot be safe.
Having basic emergency supplies and other preparations completed ahead of time will ensure your customers and their families are safe and secure during severe weather conditions.
There are real benefits to preparing for severe weather before it’s too late. According to FEMA, “being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters” and “people can reduce the impact of disasters and sometimes avoid the danger completely.”
Use this information to inform your customers of ways to stay prepared and safe during times of severe weather. Making these connections with your customers, and showing that you have their best interest in mind will help cultivate a connection that encourages customers to keep coming back.
Here are some tips to help your customers get started.
Be weather-aware and what to do before a storm hits
Know your location.
Know what the weather is like in the area. Learn the different kinds of severe weather events common to the area. Sign up for notifications from local news channels to stay up-to-date with crucial weather updates and other information.
Being familiar with the types of storms your customers might encounter helps you offer the products they’ll need.
What about the car?
When a storm hits, the last place to be is outside.
A car is not a reliable place to take refuge. While a car is not the best place to seek shelter during a bad storm, preparing the car is another critical aspect of preparing for severe weather that is often overlooked.
Make sure the car is completed filled up with gas, double-checking on tire pressure and putting it in a safe place. Ideally, the car would be there during an evacuation.
If the car can’t be taken, park it indoors or on high ground away from potential sources of damage. Be sure to have a tarp and waterproof tape handy to seal windows and doors as well.
Create an emergency communication plan
Help your customers create an emergency communication plan for their families. Having an effective plan keeps everyone alert and on the same page when a severe weather alert has been issued.
The most important information to have in a plan to prepare for severe weather includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Escape routes and a meeting place
- Where to take shelter in the home
- Phone numbers to call in case of an emergency
- How to get out of the home if need be
- Where family members will meet if a storm hits and no one else is at home
Encourage your customers to review and share the plan with friends, neighbors and family and practice it at least twice a year with children. Children learn better by doing.
Having an emergency communication plan for severe weather is well worth the effort. Having a written plan gives everyone a better chance of everyone moving. That knowledge could save lives before, during and after severe weather disasters.
Make general weather preparations
Something to consider when making general weather preparations is to have emergency cash on hand. Running debit and credit cards require electricity and electricity might be an issue if severe weather results in power outages. Having cash on hand doesn’t put people in a bind.
If the family has pets, make sure pets have their tags and are up-to-date on their vaccinations in case they get out.
In case the area needs to evacuate, learn evacuation routes. When appropriate, local officials will provide information about evacuation routes through the media and online. It’s a good idea to get familiar with these routes before a storm hits in case evacuation is necessary.
Build emergency supply kits.
Now that your customers know to be weather-aware and armed with an emergency communications plan, it’s time for them to build emergency supply kits.
Petra has everything you need to help your customers build their own kits in case disaster strikes.
Here are some of the basics every household should have in their emergency supply kit:
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- 2-way radios
- Extra warm clothes
- Dust masks
- Personal sanitation products like toilet paper and wet wipes
- Weather alert radio with full power and plenty of batteries on hand
Prep the home
Prepping the home ensures less damage. Keep landscaping in check. Well-trimmed trees and shrubbery are more wind resistant and less likely to become flying battering rams during severe weather.
Have materials ready to board up the home if necessary. Storm shutters offer the best protection, but marine plywood is a good alternative. Cut these boards to fit in advance, and keep them at the ready so you can use them when it’s time.
Locating and knowing how to operate your home’s gas and water shut-off valves.
Make sure that your customers take photos or videos of their home and its contents and keeping them in a separate location such as a safe deposit box or out of town relative’s house. Petra has a wide selection of tools and accessories for you to provide customers wanting to make minor repairs to their home after severe weather.
How can Petra help?
Petra has all the products your business needs to get your customers ready for any severe weather coming their way.
Keep your eye on Petra.com for our complete product listing to help weather out any kind of storm!