AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP)– Violent storms left a trail of damage in parts of the lower pioneer valley Monday. 22News found Chuck Denison checking on his friend’s home who couldn’t make it home during the strong winds and heavy rain Sunday night.
Denison found a large tree knocked over in his friend’s yard and admitted this summer’s storms have him shaken up.
“Pray a lot! That the trees, we have a lot of trees in our yard too, and we hope that they don’t come down. In past years I’ve had trees come down and barely miss the house, so it makes me very nervous when these types of storms come through,” Denison said.
When storm winds come through so strong that they’re able to uproot trees and lift the concrete sidewalk like they did on Reed Street in Agawam, safety experts warn you need to be prepared.
Disaster relief experts from the American Red Cross an emergency kit is critical if a storm knocks out your power or forces you to evacuate.
They say you should have two different kinds. One to take on-the-go, and one to stay in your home with a more hearty supply of food and water.
“You want to have a gallon of water per person per day and things like that. So the grab-and-go kit needs to be something that you can just throw into the trunk of your car in a hurry. The shelter-in-place kit is something a little bit more substantial and will be things that you’re going to stay home with,” May Nathan, the Disaster Program Manager of the Pioneer Valley Red Cross, told 22News.
Nathan also said the grab-and-go should have key items like maps, medications, and some cash since power outages can also wipe out credit card machines and ATM’s. It’s important to keep your shelter-in-place kit in one place that you can easily find when the lights go out.
Click here for a complete list of emergency kit items.
The Red Cross also has a series of new applications for your smart phone that can keep you updated on shelter locations should severe weather force you out of your home.
If tornado warnings come through your county seek shelter in the lowest level of your home, preferably a basement, and use a large blanket or cushions to protect yourself.