Saturday, April 14, 2012

How to Prepare for a Tornado with Multiples

After last year's tornado episode, I decided that it would be prudent to get some things ready just in case. And since we are currently under a major severe storm warning with possible tornadoes, it's a good thing I started getting this ready last week!

Here is how we prepare for a tornado with multiples!

Last Monday, a friend came over to help with the kids. When they went down for their morning nap, I recruited her to help me clear out part of the basement and set the "baby cage" up.

We set up the play yard after sweeping and mopping the floor (it was scary how grimmy that floor was!). I draped an old comforter over the side so that I can throw it down quickly if the tornado sirens start going off. I may have mopped, but there is no point putting it on the floor unless it's necessary! I also have a radio on the bookshelf. Not sure it will pick up a signal in the basement, but hey! At least, I have one! And the way I see it, if the house blows away, I won't need a radio to tell me that it's happening anyway.

Then I got together the supplies for our tornado box. I did this last year, so most of what went in the box was a repeat of that. I did add a few new things since I had extra time to think about it this year.

What's included in our tornado box?
  • Diaper Wipes
  • Diapers-Size 2 for Abby and Ellie
  • Diapers-Size 3 for Elijah and Caleb
  • Box of Tissue
  • Flashlight
  • A set of PJs for each kid
  • A set of day clothes for each kid
  • A jacket for each kid
  • Wiggles DVD (and yes, I do realize that the DVD player won't work if the power goes out, but at least it will entertain them until then!)
  • Baby Van Gogh DVD
  • Bucket of Toys
  • Four Burp Rags
  • Four Bibs
  • Small Container of Hand Sanitizer
  • Baby Spoon for Cereal and Baby Food (all of the jarred baby food is already stored in the basement)
  • Box of Nutri-Grain Bars (got on sale!)
  • Box of Rice Cereal
  • 2 Cans of Alimentum Formula
  • 4 Bottles
  • Airtight Container of Cheerios
  • Bag of Goldfish Crackers
  • 4 Lightweight Blankets
The idea is to have two days worth of supplies for the kids already in the basement in case the house blows away. I figure that gives us enough time to make it to a shelter or Walmart to replenish our supplies.

Is this overkill? I don't think so. Overkill is wanting an Oreo and then eating the whole row. Ooo! I should add Oreos to my kit...for me, of course!

Anyhow, back to tornado prep. The kids played quietly until I started picking toys out of their toy box. I didn't take many, but they all wanted to see what I was doing at that point. Ellie ducked down right before I took this photo, but the expression on Elijah's face is a hoot! 

As soon as I get the kids down to the basement, and if I have time, then I will run back upstairs and grab the things on my important list:

We can get along without these things, but I would really like to bring them to the basement with us if possible. Most of the items are pretty self-explanatory. Sean told me that I can upload all of our photos from my laptop and back-up drive to the Google Cloud, so that would eliminate two things, but since I haven't done that yet, I left them on the list. Theoretically, if I use a laundry basket, I can grab everything in under two minutes and make it back downstairs.

Speaking of laundry baskets, I got this idea from the Triplets Plus of Kansas City group. If I'm alone and need to get the kids downstairs, I can load them into a laundry basket! I can't lift it with all of the kids in there, but I'm sure they would enjoy sledding down three half flights of stairs to make it to the basement! :)

"Yep! We all fit!"
Abby, Caleb, Elijah, and Ellie

So that's the plan! Hopefully, I never have to move everyone downstairs by myself, but in case of an emergency, I at least have an idea of how to get my kids to a safe place quickly.

Am I the only one who makes preparations like this? I'd love it if you'd leave a comment below (on our blog) with how you prepare for bad weather. Maybe I can pick up a tip from you that would be helpful over here!


  1. You are well prepared. Great job! I'm praying everyone is ok all around. We're keeping a watch too. Our first year in TX, we had quite a few tornado warnings, etc....We don't have a basement, so we put a pack in play up right outside the bathroom, then if we were in a serious mode, I could put them in there and then we have to squeeze into our powder room.
    I do not like these....AZ is ideal! :) Praying for you all to stay safe. Great job Mama! :) Kami

    1. Since I'm originally from southern New Mexico, I'm definitely not a fan of tornado season either! Sean is used to them since he is from the southwest, but they always make me nervous. Glad you have a plan in place too!

  2. Becca, I love reading your, Sean and the babies are always in my prayers....and you are an inspiration to prepare for severe weather!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate you leaving a comment. Hope the family is doing well! :)

  3. Great ideas! I really need to get this done at my house. Right now I only have the extra set of infant seats. We strapped the trio into then during last year's storm I figured if they go flying at least they'd have some protection.

    1. It's hard to find time with multiples to do extra projects! I totally understand that! You are welcome to borrow my lists if it makes it easier!

      Thankfully, last night's storm passed us by. :)

  4. Great idea! I am so doing this tomorrow. When the sirens went off last year during the day, and my husband was at work, I was scrambling to get the twins to the basement and didn't bring anything with me. As luck would have it, I bought a bunch of Easter eggs on sale, and they played with those for the hour we were huddled in the storage area. I am definitely putting together a basket tomorrow in case we are down there again this year.

    1. That's so scary having to do it by yourself! I really REALLY hope that I won't have to get them to shelter without Sean here. Yikes!

      Funny story about Easter eggs (that have nothing to do with tornadoes): I bought some Easter eggs on clearance about 3 years ago on a whim. For some strange reason, I kept them, unopened, in the basement until two weeks ago when I dug them out for the kids' Easter baskets. Obviously, I had to get more since twelve isn't enough for us, but you aren't the only one to have Easter eggs stored away!

  5. Good idea...I need to put one of these together! I noticed that water is on your "grab if possible" list. Maybe you could add some bottled water to your kit, in case you don't have time to get the pitcher. Just a thought. :)

    1. Excellent idea! Can't believe I didn't think of that myself. I love that I remembered to include hand sanitizer (because germs will totally be at the forefront of my mind if the house blows away, right?), but didn't come up with bottled water on my own. LOL! I'll definitely grab a case the next time I'm at the store. Thank you!

  6. Good for you! I did the same about a week ago... so when the storms were predicted last night my husband said with a smirk, "I'm guessing you already have a storm shelter put together for us" Adding oreos to my grocery list tomorrow... never can be too safe right? ;) You are such a great mommy!

    1. Glad I'm not the only Mommy who considers Oreos a necessity! :)

  7. You are awesome to think of all this! We have a small emergency container with some supplies (emergency radio, flashlights, candles), but nowhere near what we need, and I didn't even consider baby stuff. I have some work to do!

  8. Hey Becca, good list just a couple ideas for you: food is important, but water even more so. You could get a case of bottled water, or to save money, get a few gallons. They are under a dollar at Walmart. Flashlight is also good, but if you are anything like me, it will work fine until you need it. So bring extra batteries. Also, just an idea, if you have an extra mattress, you can set it to the side and set up the crib in such a way that if your home were to take a direct hit, you could climb in and pull the mattress over the top making a good covering for all the babies. Just some thoughts, you know me, I think in worst case senarios. - your SIS Hannah

  9. We are under tornado watch as I write this; hopefully I won't need any of this.


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