Tornado safety is very important, as they are nature’s most violent storms. Powerful and destructive, they can cause fatalities in just a few seconds. As a result, you must know what to do in the case of a tornado. We are going to share vital tornado safety tips on how to keep yourself safe during this weather phenomenon.
Crucial Tornado Safety Tips You Need to Remember
Here is what you must do BEFORE the tornado strikes:
- Learn the community’s warning system. Each community has different ways of warning the citizens. Consequently, know the siren intended for warning purposes.
- Pick a safety room. Discuss with your household members what room in your home is best suited in this scenario. It should be a storm cellar, basement, or a room on the lowest which does not have windows.
- Know the evacuations centers. If you are in a danger zone, you must know the location of the closest evacuation center. In most cases, it is a school, community center, or a city building. Such places can even offer medical attention and supplies.
- Practice tornado drills. It’s quite likely that some members of your family, and you included, may experience shock when the tornado occurs. This is why you must practice periodic drills. This way, everyone will know exactly what actions they must take.
- Move dangerous objects. Things like hanging plants, trash cans, and certain furniture must be moved somewhere else if there is a risk of being pickup up by the rotating column of air. Unfortunately, they can become projectiles and harm people.
- Reinforce the safety room. It’s best if you can reinforce the room you have picked to provide shelter during tornadoes. You can find useful designs on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website.
- Listen to the news and watch for the danger signs. You can stay informed about the weather by listening to the local news, but you can also observe the sky. The danger signs you must look for are dark or greenish clouds, a cloud of debris, wall cloud, funnel cloud, large hail, and roaring noise.
- Protect your belongings. Place important papers such as insurance policies, medical information, loan or mortgage papers, birth certificates, and more, in a safety deposit box, a safe, or a storm shelter.
DURING the tornado, you must respond by:
- Driving at right angles. It’s highly risky to the caught in a vehicle during a tornado. Luckily, there are a few things you can do. If the storm is visible and far away, you may succeed in driving out of its path. Simply move at right angles to the tornado and find an underground shelter.
If the tornado is near, the best thing to do is to park the car out of the traffic lanes. Do not leave the vehicle. Stay inside with the seat belt on and put your head down. Cover your head with your hands and a textile material (your coat or a blanket).
Do not, by any means, seek shelter under a bridge. They offer little protection and can create traffic hazards.
- Going to your safety room. If you are at home, go to the designated safety room. If somewhere else, go to the lowest floor. It can be a bathroom, a closet, a windowless interior hallway, or under a stairwell. Crouch to the floor while facing down, and cover your head with your hands.
Even if you are inside you must cover yourself with a blanket, a mattress, or any type of thick padding. This is key in protecting you against falling debris.
- Abandoning your mobile home. If you live in a mobile home, get out as soon as possible. Any place is safer than a mobile home, regardless of the fact that it may be tied down. It’s a fact that most tornadoes can destroy even the mobile homes that have been tied down. Rush into a shelter or a sturdy building.
- Crawling under a table. If the room you are in has a table, a workbench, or a pool table, then you can use them to protect from falling objects. Crawl under it and stay there until the tornado passes.
Here is how you must act AFTER the storm:
- Try to return home safely. If you’re somewhere else during the tornado, wait for it to pass and try to return home. Listen to the news to learn about the effects it had on your neighbourhood. Take notice of the advice of the local authorities. Return to your neighbourhood only when the officials say it is safe to do so. Watch out for danger such as fallen power lines.
- Turn off the main utilities. If your house has experienced damages, turn off your utilities. This also includes natural gas, water main, and electricity. Furthermore, if you smell gas, do not even enter the home. Instead, call 911 immediately.
- Clean your home with bleach. If your house has seen minimal water damage, then clean it with bleach. Make sure the area is well-ventilated. Wear proper protective equipment: rubber boots, rubber gloves, and eye protection.
- Use flashlights. When examining you home, do not use candles. You may have a gas leak that you may not have smelled. Only use battery-powered flashlights.
- Check for injuries. See if you or the people around you have been injured. Provide first aid to anyone in need until the ambulance arrives.
- Report fallen power lines to the utility company right away. This is one of the most important tornado safety tips because such issues can be life threatening.
We hope you remember these key tornado safety tips on how to keep yourself safe during and after a violent storm. It’s vital you learn by heart what to do before a tornado so that it doesn’t catch you by surprise. Try to remain calm and alert. Listen to any information and instructions given by the emergency crews and the local officials.
If you or your family and friends have experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well list. This way, you can let everyone know you are safe.