Being in Missouri we are coming up on tornado season. In the case of an emergency or severe weather, your safety is YOUR responsibility. Don’t rely on anyone to notify you, don’t expect other campers to knock on your door – it’s your job to be alert and aware of severe weather. Don’t be afraid to ask for your closest shelter at check-in (we recommended that you do!) and don’t be afraid to take cover, even if no one else has yet. It’s better to be overly cautious than to wait and see – you might find you’re too late. With severe weather, so close we wanted to share some of the best safety tips during severe weather while camping! If you have anything to add please comment below!
1. Keep an eye on the forecast. Often severe weather conditions can be predicted at least a few days in advance. Bookmark Weather.com and check it daily – you can see a 10-forecast that is often reliable. There’s usually at least a few hours notice before a bad storm hits. With today’s radar and weather tracking technology, there’s absolutely no reason to be surprised when the wind starts swirling and the thunder starts booming. If you’ve got an internet connection or a smartphone, check weather websites or use a weather forecast app to see what’s in store for the day. If it looks like things could get bad, check back frequently for warnings or approaching storm systems.
2. Know your nearest shelter. Make it a point to know where the nearest shelter is – make sure your kids know, too. You can ask this information when you check in. RVs can protect you from the elements to a certain degree, but in truly severe situations you will want to seek shelter in a more stable and secure place. When you park at a campsite, take a few minutes to find the location of the nearest storm shelter, and have a plan in place to get there should the National Weather Service issue warnings.
3. Have your RV park address and site number easily accessible. Write the resort info (Lost Valley Lake Resort, 2234 Hwy ZZ Owensville, Mo 65066), site location on a dry erase board or piece of paper somewhere easily accessible in the living space of your RV. If you need to dial 9-1-1 you’ll need that information to get emergency personnel to you as soon as possible.
4. Know what COUNTY you are in. Weather alerts are often issued by the county. You should know which county you are currently located in and it doesn’t hurt to know the names of surrounding counties either. Lost Valley is located in Gasconade County. See the map below for surrounding counties.
5. Prepare the outside of your RV or campsite. Reduce the risk of damage by putting away things that can blow around. Retract awnings and slides. Grills, chairs, and anything else that you’ve got set up outside can get blown around and potentially cause other damage during a bad storm. The safest thing to do is secure them or put them away.
6. Don’t try and outrun a surprise storm. If you’ve waited too long and/or get caught by a surprise storm – don’t panic and try to hitch up and run. Stay calm. Don’t panic. Have a plan in place and follow through with it calmly. Panic is not your friend.Park your vehicle if you’re on the road and a tornado is in the vicinity, park your vehicle quickly in a spot that’s out of the way. Once parked, get as low in the vehicle as you can away from the windows and cover your head with a blanket or jacket. Or, if you are able to, get to ground that’s considerably lower than the roadway, it’s advisable to get out of your vehicle and move down to the lower area. Then, lie down with your hands over your head. Use your best judgment in these situations.
7. Have an emergency bag. Remember, if you have to leave your vehicle due to extreme weather, you probably won’t have much time to gather belongings, and you certainly can’t take all of your possessions with you. Instead, have a backpack or other type of bag ready to go. It should contain any important documents you’ve brought with you, enough necessary medication for a few days, a few bottles of water, some non-perishable food, cell phone chargers, and anything else you can’t live without for a few days.
8. Make sure your insurance is adequate. Talk to your insurance agent and make sure you have a full-time policy and that it is sufficient enough to cover your needs. Some policies even include hotel/living expenses if you’re unable to live in your RV due to repairs or replacement. RV insurance policies don’t always give you the same protection that a homeowners policy does so an umbrella policy might be a good idea. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you’re adequately covered.
9. You can replace your RV but you can’t replace a life. At the end of the day, there are no possessions in your RV that are more important than your life. Seek shelter if needed and worry about property loss later.
Weather Tools to Stay Prepared
o A weather radio is a good thing to have on hand, just make sure you are programmed to the county that you are in.
o The Weather Channel
o NOAA Weather Unofficial
o National Weather Service
o Weather by WeatherBug
o Weather Radar Widget
Even if you don’t use Twitter regularly, it’s worth setting up an account to follow a list of users who Tweet weather information. Twitter is the fastest way besides the local news to get up-to-the-second updates from both weather experts and common bystanders during weather events. A few accounts you might follow include:
* Disclaimer: We have not used and tested all these apps, and thus we cannot endorse them. We’re passing along third-party recommendations to you, but do intend to try them all out ourselves moving forward!