Preparing for Severe Weather with Low Vision

How does the saying go? “You know you’re from Oklahoma when the tornado sirens go off and everyone runs outside to look for it!” This is a funny saying, but when the sirens do go off, our mindsets quickly change. Severe weather is always stressful, but life with low vision comes with an additional set of safety concerns. A person living with low vision may experience added anxiety or make common mistakes in a severe weather situation. Today, our Low Vision Specialist Terry Rairdon is sharing a few simple strategies to help you or your loved ones with low vision be more prepared during storm season.

1. Get organized.

  • Create a plan for where you and your family will go in the event of a tornado or severe storm.
  • Make sure your phones are charged.
  • Put your shoes on. Many injuries occur after the storm when an individual steps on debris.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with bottled water, nonperishable food, first aid supplies and batteries.
  • Keep this kit in your home’s identified “safe room,” and make sure it is easily accessible for someone with low vision.
  • Keep the pathway cleared of all obstacles—this includes toys, throw rugs, clothing, cords, etc. The less clutter, the less likely a fall or injury will occur.

2. Use high-contrast tape.

Mark any steps, stairs and thresholds near your safe place, as well as all handles and doorknobs.

3. Prepare with good lighting.

Keep a good LED flashlight or lantern in your safe room. Headlamp LED flashlights are ideal for keeping your hands free to help your children, carry essentials or locate doorknobs.

4. Practice!

Set some time aside with your family or roommates to practice your storm safety drills.

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