Is Your Family Ready?

Monday, May 10, 2010
The new members who were recognized at Putnam County Extension Homemakers 2010 Spring Dessert on April 29 include (front, from left) Jessie McFarland, Judy Miller, Cheryl Miles, Rosalyn Antcliff, Mary Barcus, (back) Gretna Huber, Mary Ann Staley, Judi Blaydes, A. J. Ryan and Janet Jayne. Other new members who were not in attendance include Margaret Delp, Sue Woodall, Pam Overton and Gail Borad.

As Channel 8 Meteorologist Randy Ollis said when he spoke at the Putnam County Extension Homemakers Spring Dessert last month, it is now tornado season and Indiana is part of what is known as "tornado alley."

So the first important question to ask is, are you and your family ready in the event of a tornado or other emergency?

Fortunately, Putnam County is among the counties that do have some sirens to help alert the public in the event of a weather emergency. Sirens are intended to alert people who are outside.

Chances are that you would not hear a siren if you were inside your home, especially at night when you are sleeping. So you also need to have an emergency alert radio.

The next question is, "Have you reviewed with your children and other family members exactly what they should do in the event of a tornado warning?" Do you have a plan about what to do and where to go if a tornado is headed your way? Now is the time to plan, not after the sirens have started blaring.

Tornadoes aren't the only weather-related emergency to which Indiana is susceptible. Flooding is another major concern.

Ollis also reminded local residents of the danger of driving into water. His rule is 'turn around don't drown!' It doesn't take much water to lift a car or cause your vehicle to lose power.

Some emergencies require evacuation. Here again, advanced planning is the best policy. Knowing what you would need to collect and take with you can save critical time when minutes count.

Some of the important things that you should plan for in addition to people, include pets, important papers, medicine, cash, clothing, phone and sufficient fuel for your vehicles.

Also have a plan for how to meet, or reconnect with your family members if you are separated at the time that an emergency occurs.

None of us have the power to prevent a weather emergency, and you can't even know exactly when one will occur. Having a plan, however, is one of the best ways to minimize the damage and to help put your life back together again after a major disaster.

Visit our website at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming events:

May 10: "End of Life Financial Issues" 7 p.m. in Ext. Classroom

May 13: Ext. Homemakers County Council Mtg. at 7 p.m. fairgrounds

May 14: Deadline to register for Ext. Homemaker County Tour

May 15: 4-H Sheep Tagging, Fairgrounds, 8 a.m. to noon.

May 17: All remaining 4-H Livestock enrollment forms due to office

May 22: 2010 Tox-Away Day in Putnam County

June 3: Extension Homemakers Tour to Wick's Pie Factory

June 9-11: Home and Family Conference at Purdue

June 12: Putnam County Master Gardeners' Garden Tour

June 15: Greencastle Farmers Market starts

June 17-19: 2010 State Conference for Purdue Master Gardeners