Weather Talk: Planning for a disaster is a good idea

Last week's Alaskan earthquake offers an excellent reminder that families need to develop a plan to communicate and reunite following a potential natural disaster. One aspect of disasters in the contemporary world that takes people by surprise is that cell phones often become worthless in the days following a disaster.

In a major tornado, for example, cell towers are often destroyed, electrical power lost and cell signal divided among too many people trying to make calls. It would be a very good idea this holiday season if every family were to come up with a primary and secondary meeting place in case of a total communications failure following a disaster.

Develop a list of people to contact once communications are restored. It is also a very good idea to stockpile a few days of drinkable water and non-perishable food in a safe place. Just in case.