ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – As we continue with the summer months and warmer weather, it’s always a good idea to remain storm ready. Knowing where to take shelter if severe weather threatens, and what to have in that shelter, are ways to help keep you and your family safe. Meteorologist Savanna Brito breaks it down.

It’s important everyone in your family knows where to go when severe weather hits. Start with discussing a plan with your family. Where is the safest place to seek shelter?  Usually it’s a basement or the lowest level of your home in an interior room, such as a windowless closet or a bathroom.

Knowing this is crucial and can save you minutes when they matter the most.

Next, make sure to have a tornado kit in that safe place.

It should include Non-Perishable food, bottled water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, tissues, toilet paper, an emergency blanket, paper and a pencil, a whistle, matches or a lighter in a waterproof case.

You can add extra clothing such as shirts or sweatshirts, an extra pair of covered, close toed shoes, and if you have young kids, a stuffed animal or comfort toy to help them stay calm.

Helmets or something to protect your head is also important to have on hand.  Many people lose their lives due to blunt force trauma to the head in storms.

Make sure to go through the items at least once every six months to make sure nothing has expired or gotten old.

A weather radio is one of the best ways to know a storm is coming and get alerts during it.

If you don’t have one go to mystateline.com/radio and use the code “wtvo” at checkout for a discount and five dollar shipping.

Typically severe weather season runs from April to June but storms can occur during any time of the year. We have had tornadoes as late in the year as November, such as the Caledonia and Washington IL tornado, or even as early in the year as January, like the Poplar Grove tornado.