Preparedness key to dealing with a natural disaster

Preparedness key to dealing with a natural disaster, officials say

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The Bass family heads to the basement in tornado weather. They also have a large amount of food stockpiled in the basement. The Bass family heads to the basement in tornado weather. They also have a large amount of food stockpiled in the basement.
The Bass grows their own fruits and vegetables and stores food and water. The Bass grows their own fruits and vegetables and stores food and water.
"It's important for individuals to have the ability to take care of themselves for a limited period of time," said EMA Director Alan Lawson. "It's important for individuals to have the ability to take care of themselves for a limited period of time," said EMA Director Alan Lawson.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - East Tennessee is no stranger to natural disasters and in case of an emergency, officials say there are preparations everyone needs to make just to be safe until help arrives.

On a regular basis the Bass family meets to discuss emergency plans. If there's a tornado, they know where to go.

"Our plan would be to meet in the basement up against the wall that's packed with dirt on the outside, so we feel it's a safe place," said Kirk Bass.

Knoxville-Knox County EMA Director Alan Lawson says if there's a tornado go to the lowest level of the building you're in, go to an interior room away from windows and flying debris.

Lawson says if you are in your car when a tornado is coming, don't try to outrun it. Abandon the car and lay in a ditch.

The Bass family is ready should a disaster strike. They grow their own fruits and vegetables and store food and water.

"We have a short-term storage built up to where everyone in our family would be covered for three months. Then we have long-term storage where we have enough food for our family for a year," said Shairee Bass.

To help you get started with your emergency preparations the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency gives out a ready bag.

On the outside of the bag is a checklist serving as a reminder of the items you should collect such as water, a weather radio and a flash light.

"Help will be on the way, but it's important for individuals to have the ability to take care of themselves for a limited period of time," said Lawson.

Kirk and Shairee Bass have a 72 hour kit for each member of their family. It's a grab bag filled with everything from food and clothes to family photos and copies of important documents.

"We hope if there's an emergency we'll be able to take care of ourselves and maybe help some other people too," said Kirk Bass.

EMA officials say in case of an emergency families need to have a meeting place in case they get separated and a phone number everyone knows to call.

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