Kansas weather can be unpredictable and there is no telling the damage that it is capable of.

If an earthquake, severe thunderstorm or tornado strikes, will you be prepared?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided tips for preparing in case of an emergency.

The most important thing is to stock up on food and water, because we can’t live without them.

When stocking up on food, make sure to follow your family’s unique needs and tastes. Include food they will enjoy that is high in calories and nutrition. Something that requires no refrigeration, special preparation or cooking is best.

Individuals with special diets or allergies will need particular attention, along with babies, toddlers, nursing mothers and elderly people. It is something that should be talked about with family members, so you know just what to put into storage.

When it comes to storing food, FEMA has several pieces of advice:

  • Keep food in a dry, cool spot or dark area, if possible.
  • Store food in resealable containers so you can close them tightly after each use.
  • Wrap perishable food in plastic bags and keep them sealed.
  • Empty open packages of sugar and dried nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight canisters to keep pests out.
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before using.
  • Throw out any canned goods that are swollen, dented or corroded.
  • Use food before it goes bad and replace it with fresh food.

As far as water, FEMA suggests storing at least 1 gallon per person, per day. Consider at least a two-week supply of water for each member of the family. For big families, this can be hard, but they still should store as much as they can.

It is recommended to buy bottled water and keep it in its original containers — don’t open them until they are needed.

If you run out of water, there are hidden sources of water in every home, such as the water stored in the hot water tank, pipes and ice cubes. It also could be wise to fill a bathtub as an emergency water supply if you expect an extended crisis.

If all of those sources have been exhausted, you will need to look for water outdoors, but it always must be treated before drinking.

Possible sources include rainwater, streams, rivers or other moving bodies of water, ponds, lakes and natural springs. There are three main ways to treat water for microorganisms and other contaminants — boiling, chlorination and distillation.

When that big storm, tornado or any other emergency happens, now you will be prepared!

This story was written by Ark City Daily Bytes intern Amelia Doyle.