Natural disasters such as a tornado, earthquake, or tsunami can happen at any point in time. A tornado is a strong and violent column of air that emerges from the ground in the form of a thunderstorm. It looks like a funnel coming from the cloud. It damages everything that comes in its path.
Every year around 1000 tornadoes are reported in the U.S.A, which is the highest compared to any other place in the world. On average, 70 people die in a year, causing damage of more than 400 million dollars.
Thus, it is important to keep yourself in such a situation. For this blog post, we interviewed the experts at Remidation911, a fire water damage company. They explained to us the precautions that should be kept in mind during a tornado–and how to begin the recovery process after the storm.
1 – Keep yourself prepared!
Tornados can arrive at any point in time, and if you specifically live in an area prone to them, it becomes more important to keep prepared with all the necessary material with you. One should keep all the following items prepared with them in case a tornado impacts your community:
- You should have a radio or television that runs with the help of a battery (not electrical current) so that you can hear about the news update given by the weather department.
- A place where you and your family can stay safely must be identified so that you can move to those premises in case of an emergency unless the situation restores.
- Stock it with water, necessary food supplies, medication, and first aid supplies. Keep this area prepared all the time.
- You must have all the contacts who can provide your information about the tornado and help you in an emergency.
- Educate your family and especially kids about the safety precaution and safety drills they need to follow in situations.
2 – Keep yourself updated about the weather conditions!
It is essential to keep yourself updated on the changing weather conditions in your area. If you do not follow and act quickly upon them, it may cost you or your family member’s life. The first thing to keep in mind is whether your area is under Tornado Watch or Tornado Warning.
What’s the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?
A tornado watch is that there is a possibility of occurrence of a tornado in your area. In such a case, you must keep everything ready as the warning can be issued at any point in time. These watches are issued by Storm Prediction Center.
A tornado warning a tornado is round around the corner. The Local Forecast Officer specifies the areas affected by it, and you must move to evacuate to a safe premise.
Authorities will issue a warning via one of the following means:
- Outdoor Sirens: In case of a tornado, sirens are run to inform about the tornado which might be on the ground.
- Television: Weather Station issue warning and specify the area which is under threat. It has a drawback that it will not give you the updated news as they may not be available in an electricity outage.
- NATO Weather Radio: This is the most accurate source of information as it provides you with updated information coming from the nearest National Weather Service Forecasting Office.
- Mobile Phone: Mobile phones are the best way to fetch all the wireless emergency alerts about the tornado. You can even install a specific application that can help you with the information during a tornado.
3 – After the Tornado. What’s next?
If your home sustains damage, keep these things in mind after the tornado:
- If you were inside a house that receives damage, do not enter the premises without proper assessment. There are chances of water or electrical damages. There is a possibility of gas leaks as well. You must hire a professional water and fire damage company to assess the condition. If you sheltered in a damaged structure, leave the premises until you receive an all-clear signal from the authorities.
- In case of any injury, you must seek medical attention as fast as possible. Administer first aid for minor injuries.
- Continue listening to the radio for any updated news. These large storm systems can continue to cause rain and lightning for several hours after the event.
- Wear protective gear, full sleeves shirt and trousers, eye goggles, long boots, and gloves so that you do not get injured while walking or cleaning the debris.
- In case of sparks or short-circuit, close off the main supply quickly and call the concerned authorities.
These preparations represent a bare minimum. If you live in a zone prone to these storms, you might also take additional measures, like building a tornado shelter. Regardless, awareness and preparedness are the first steps to protecting your safety.