Preparing for Severe Weather Season

Published 04/27 2014 09:10PM

Updated 04/27 2014 11:04PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Severe weather season has officially touched down.

Before it hits hard in St. Joseph, it is time to gear up.

In the past, flooding has been a major problem in Northwest Missouri.

Cass Holtz, the floor manager at Westlake Ace Hardware, demonstrated one of the ways to decrease the chances of flooding in homes.

"You can get a screen that will snap on that, so really only water can fit through it," said Holtz.

He recommended cleaning gutters.

He said debris caught inside could back up the flow of water running through; therefore causing flooding.

"If you got leaves and debris fall in that, and of course, your shingles drift into that. So, you want to make sure those are flowing correctly so they don't overflow over the top," he said.

Holtz also advised buying a sump pump --- a tool that pumps out water.

"If you do have water come in, like ground water coming up in there, and you need a sump pump, if you have one, sump pumps will pump out the water and divert that where it's going out," said Holtz.

Experts say a weather radio is one of the most important tools to have during severe weather season.

"You'll get an alert through them, usually by the National Weather Service, to let you know that you have a warning, watch, tornado, thunder storm," he said.

If you don't have access to one, the American Red Cross has an app, for Androids and iPhones, that alerts people about severe weather.

"Our tornado app is one of those, and can act much like a weather radio and notify you when there is severe weather pending in your area," said Angie Springs, Executive Director of the Midland Empire Chapter of American Red Cross.

You can never fully prepare for what mother nature may bring, but it is best to always be on guard.

"Pay attention to what's going on," said Springs.

"So, it's nice to be prepared," said Holtz.

Other items like batteries, flashlights, and lamp oil are also recommended to have throughout severe weather season.

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