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Emergency Kits Necessary in Severe Weather

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- Before you find yourself in a severe weather emergency, it's important to have supplies on-hand to keep you and your family safe.

FEMA suggests having an emergency supply kit for all of the members of your household, though Ron Nesler, the store manager of a Cedar Rapids Theisen's, said many people don't come in to buy supplies until after a storm hits.

"Well, it's always easier to spend it when you know you need it ,and not when you just think you might be able to use it. I think people are spending smart," Nesler said.

And while it might be good to have a generator or a chainsaw on hand after a storm hits, experts say, if a tornado is headed your way, it's good to have a helmet on your head to protect yourself from flying debris.

Many of the head injuries that happened in the 2011 Joplin tornado happened because of debris, so a helmet of any kind if an unconventional item that's good to have on hand, climatologists said.

But don't forget the basics.

"This is the time to start thinking about it. Batteries and flashlights go all year round. This when it's really important to have those items, though," Nesler said.

FEMA suggests a kit that includes:
  • A gallon of water per person, per day, for three days
  • Three days worth of food, per person
  • Sleeping bags or warm blankets for each member of your family
  • A weather radio
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • A wrench to turn off utilities

"It's smarter to be prepared, it's just easier to react afterwards sometimes," Nesler said.

For a full list of what FEMA recommends, visit:

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