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How to prepare for severe thunderstorms like Brad Panovich

It's critical to always have a severe weather supply kit on hand in the event of tornadoes and power outages. These items can help you get important alerts.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Every household in our area should go through the following steps to have supplies ready in their safe place for the moment when the weather turns on them.


Here is what you should have:

  • Container to hold supplies
  • Bottled Water or gallons of water
    • 1 gallon per person is recommended. You should also have several reserve gallons of water in the house at all times.
  • Non-Perishable food
    • If including canned foods, but don't forget the can opener
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Supplies
    • Bandages
    • Ointment
    • Disinfectant wipes
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather radio
  • helmet (have this in your safe place for tornado warnings

🌩️ If you like weather, watch Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte Weather Team on their Emmy Award-winning Weather IQ YouTube channel. 🎥

Other suggestions from the NWS:

  • Toilet paper and bags with ties for personal sanitation
  • Paper and pen or pencil (to take notes, play games, etc)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket (recommend one for each person in your home)
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Personal hygiene items (travel size deodorant, cotton swabs, feminine items, etc)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Important documents (identification, insurance information, banking information, wills, etc)
  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Formula and diapers (if there is an infant in the house)
  • Extra pet food (if there are pets in the house)
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Cups and utensils
  • A change of clothes for each person in your home (if you live in a cooler climate make sure the clothes are warm!)
    • Also include a jacket, hat, gloves, and closed-toe shoes for walking (boots or sturdy sneakers are best)
  • Rain gear
  • Cash
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cards or game (it is important to have something to do to take your mind off the situation for a few moments or alleviate stress if you will be in your shelter for an extended time)
Credit: WCNC

For the latest weather alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app and enable push notifications.

Other tips

  • You should keep your kit in a place where you plan on taking shelter. May it be a basement, closet, or interior room, you want to have the top of this list in that location. Make this easy to access.
  • Make a plan before the weather turns. Search the house and find the spot that is the most interior room and is far from windows. It also should be in a spot that does not have a lot of objects that could fall or do harm.
Credit: WCNC

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  • If you already have a kit in place make sure to check on it every 6 months to make sure nothing has expired and that everything is present.
  • "Having all your materials in one place and storing them in your shelter location means that you don’t have to worry about getting prepared when a warning is issued. You’re already prepared and can just focus on getting yourself to your shelter." -NWS

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WCNC Charlotte’s Weather IQ YouTube channel gives detailed explainers from the WCNC Charlotte meteorologists to help you learn and understand weather, climate and science. Watch previous stories where you can raise your Weather IQ in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.

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