Tornado Safety Checklist For Homes — During & After
Rating between F0 (the weakest) and F5 (strongest) on the Fuji Scale, tornadoes may vary in strength, but a tornado above F3 has all the potential and power to wreak havoc. It can:
- Destroy strong structures
- Uproot trees
- Toss and throw heavy objects that come in its way
As mentioned above, tornadoes have the potential to destroy structures, after which you will have to call professional home restoration experts to perform serious repairs around your house.
Put simply; tornadoes are deadly and destructive forces that can be over a mile wide, continuing for more than 50 miles with winds over 200 miles per hour. On average, there are 1,200 tornadoes annually in the US. Though they mostly occur in Plain states, tornadoes are nonetheless reported in all 50 states.
Hence, families in Toledo and anywhere in the US must ensure proper safety and have an emergency plan to stay safe from tornadoes. People should know precisely what to do in such a given situation without getting panicked. And that’s what we will focus on in today’s post.
Whether it is a tornado watch or a tornado warning, you need to be prepared. A tornado watch means that a tornado is possible, while a tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted and will occur any time. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are ready to cope with the challenging situation.
Here is a detailed tornado safety checklist for homeowners:
Tips to Prepare Before a Tornado
The first thing you need to do to prepare before a tornado occurs is sit down with your family and decide where you will all go if there is a tornado warning. Pick a safe place inside the house, such as a basement, an interior room on the lowest floor without windows, or a storm cellar. Discussing this ahead of time will minimize fear, anxiety, and panic in family members, especially in younger children.
Prepare an emergency kit with the following items:
- One gallon water per person and a three day supply
- Non-perishable food items
- A flashlight
- Cell phone with a power bank
- A battery-powered NOAA radio or phone for streaming online NOAA radio station to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
- Multi-purpose tool
- Emergency contact information
- Surgical masks
You can also practice tornado drills periodically to ensure everyone knows what to do in case a tornado approaches.
Ensure outdoor safety by moving lawn furniture, hanging plants and damaged limbs of the tree so that the tornado does not hurl them.
Safety Tips to Follow During a Tornado
Whether there is a tornado warning, here’s the checklist of things to do to stay safe:
- Seek the safest place in your home as decided prior to the tornado(basement, interior room or storm cellar). The main purpose of hiding in the basement during a tornado is to put you out of the way of the wind. Moreover, as cellars and basements don’t have windows and are surrounded by walls, the chances of getting hurt by flying glass or an object that may pass through the window and hit you are zero. Strong winds can break the windows and blow broken glass and debris in your direction during violent tornadoes. Therefore, go underground to prevent the risk.
- Make sure to quickly grab your tornado emergency kit as you might need it in case of an emergency. This will come in handy if anybody gets injured in panic or gets hurt by flying glass. You can call the emergency responders, but they won’t arrive until the tornado settles down. Meanwhile, you can provide first aid to the injured person at home.
- Don’t seek shelters in a bathroom or hallway or mobile home. These are not safe places as they have some form of windows.
- Once you are in a basement or any safe place, get into a crouched position and sit against a solid structure or wall. Use your arm to cover neck and head, or cover yourself with a blanket or a towel.
- Make sure you are not hiding in a place that is below heavy objects.
- During severe weather, the behaviour of pets change. They become agitated, nervous and are impossible to control. So, you can expect them to go haywire during a tornado. However, as pets are family, you must ensure they are safe too. Therefore, quickly grab leash them or put them in a crate and bring them down into the basement with you. As pets are leashed or in a crate, it will make it easier for you to control them.
- Stay put in the basement or storm cellar for the duration of the tornado until authorities give a green signal that things are clear.
Safety Tips to Follow After a Tornado
Once the tornado passes away, don’t leave your place. Keep listening to the NOAA weather radio for updates and information. If everything is clear, you can relax and breathe a sigh of relief.
- Make sure you have your shoes on before you go back upstairs from the basement. This is because you may have to walk through sharp debris at some point. There may be broken window glass on the floor which can cause injuries.
- Inspect utilities. Report to the utility company if there are broken or fallen gas and power lines.
- As there can be broken gas lines, it is advisable to use battery-powered flashlights, not candles, to examine your property.
- Evaluate your property damage and take pictures of both the damaged areas and content for the insurance claim
- Carry a thorough cleanup task to ensure no medication, flammable liquid or gasoline is spilled on the floor, which can cause fire and become a hazard.
- Contact a home restoration company like 911 Restoration of Toledo. Our home restoration experts will inspect your property and provide you with complete assistance from start to finish ensuring that your home is restored to its liveable condition.