How to Prepare for a Tornado or Strong Winds

A tornado-producing supercell thunderstorm spinning over ranch land at sunset near Leoti, Kansas

Over the course of 2021 in the United States, tornados claimed the lives of 103 people, injured untold more, and destroyed billions of dollars in property, structures, and personal items. As with any natural disaster or emergency, it’s important to have a plan and emergency kit on hand for inclement weather conditions, like tornados. While most tornadoes aren’t the category 5 city-levelers seen in movies, it’s incredibly important to treat every tornado like it could be.

The following safety precautions will help keep you and your family safe in the event of a tornado or incredibly strong winds.

Safety Precautions for Tornados

Be Aware of Local Tornado Risks

The Midwest and southeast have a greater propensity for tornados because of geological and weather factors. If you live in these areas, pay close attention to your local weather reports.

Modern meteorologists can predict tornados based on pre-existing conditions. An inclement weather alert on your phone can help keep you ahead of the storm. Personal knowledge of tornado signs is also incredibly useful. Keep an eye out for rotating, funnel-shaped clouds, clouds of debris, or loud, freight-train-like roars.

Identify Your Shelter Area

In your home or nearby, there should be a shelter built to the correct standards. If a room built to ICC 500 standards isn’t available, retreat to a windowless room in the basement or lowest level of your building.

Prepare Your Pets and Family

Make sure your family is aware of what to do in the case of a tornado. Establish an area to meet up if your shelter room isn’t inside your home. Make sure a plan is in place to get your pets to somewhere safe as well.

Prepare Supplies

Keep provisions on hand in the event you need to shelter in place. Emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishables, water, and medicine should all be kept on hand in your shelter area.

How to Stay Safe During a Tornado

As soon as the sirens start, proceed to your designated shelter area. Monitor EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local alerting systems for the most current predictions and instructions.

If the tornado is directly overhead or close by, cover your head and neck with your arms, and put furniture or blankets around you to absorb the blow of any falling debris. If you’re outside and a siren starts, don’t try to get to a building if it isn’t feasible—you’ll never outrun a tornado. Again, cover your head and neck with your arms and your body with a coat or blanket if possible.

Post-Tornado Safety Precautions

Continue to monitor EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and the local authorities in case there are multiple tornados. When getting out of your shelter, steer clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines and avoid any water bordering these.

If you require medical attention, immediately contact your healthcare provider. They should be able to provide you with care instructions and help you decide whether you should continue to shelter in place. During cleanup, use the correct gear to prevent debris from injuring you. After all, you never know what will be on the ground after a tornado.

If your home was damaged, contact a professional disaster restoration specialist, like Royal Renovations. With IICRC certification and years of experience, we can bring your home and property back to normal without breaking the bank. Contact us today to learn more.


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