LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Today brings an increased chance of severe weather hitting mid-Michigan, and 6 News wants you to increase your confidence on how to prepare.

Ryan Wilkinson, Emergency Manager for Eaton County, explained the importance of understanding each unique alert.

“One of the most important things you can do is to fully understand what certain alerts, warnings and notifications mean and to get these alerts sent to you the moment they are issued,” Wilkinson said.

“The national weather service will issue wireless emergency alerts, which goes directly to your phone and that it is a really loud beeping noise saying there’s a problem in your area and here’s what you need to do right now,” Wilkinson said.

To stay informed, Wilkinson recommends media like WLNS StormTracker 6 for constant weather updates. Another helpful tool is to have a collection of basic items your family may need in the event of a weather emergency.

Experts said the kit can include dozens of things but must have water, food, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Other top items include medicines, blankets, a change of clothes, important family documents like copies of insurance policies, and personal hygiene items.

Items such as paper cups, plates, utensils, and towels are useful, as well as non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxative. 

Useful tools for children to keep them occupied can be pencil and paper, books, games, puzzles, and other fun activities for children.

To have these items on hand, means to be better prepared for the severe weather that we are likely going to experience today.

“For tornadoes, plan to seek shelter in a substantial structure like a basement in a home or a building, to avoid being near windows and flying debris,”  Wilkinson said.