The United States is hit by the most number of tornadoes in the world every year. In fact, in the American Midwest alone (also known as Tornado Alley), an average of about 40 to 50 tornadoes touch down every year. If you happen to live in a disaster prone area, you need to think about tornado preparedness.
To better help you prepare yourself and your family for the yearly tornado season, here are some tornado preparedness tips that you should follow.
Before Tornado Season
- It is never too early to create and discuss your tornado preparedness plan with your family and friends. You need to inform them where the safety zones are in your home, what to do when a tornado comes into your area, and where you need to meet up in case you need to evacuate.
- Create a tornado “safety zone” in your house. If you don’t have a storm cellar built in your house, you can make any interior room in your house a good haven in case a tornado hits.
- Create a tornado emergency preparedness kit that includes: a radio, flashlights with plenty of extra batteries, lots of clean drinking water, a few days worth of food, and a change of clothes. Place your emergency kit inside your safe zone so that you do not have to scramble for it when the tornado hits your home.
- Enroll your family in some first aid and CPR classes so that all of you will know what to do in case someone gets hurt during a tornado.
During a Tornado
- Never go outside when there is a tornado. You might get hit by huge pieces of debris that are whipped up into the air by the wind. Stay inside your safe zone for the entire duration of the tornado.
- If you happen to be driving and you see a tornado coming at you, do not try to outrun it by going in the opposite direction. Go at a right angle from the direction that the tornado is traveling.
- Never take shelter under bridges, overpasses, or any overhanging structures. Contrary to popular belief, under a bridge is the last place you would want to be in a tornado; if a tornado passes above you, negative air pressure on the outside will most likely suck you out and toss you up in the air.
After the Tornado Passes
- You will want to inspect your house and the surrounding neighborhood for damages. The most commonly damaged part of your house during an F2 or F3 tornado will be the roof and storm gutters. You may need to do some extensive repairs after a tornado hits your home, that is, if there is anything left of your home after getting hit.
- Avoid downed power lines; even if you do not touch the wires directly, you can still get shocked if you are near it.
Tornado preparedness is not something that you should take lightly; you need to take it seriously if you want your family to be safe when this disaster hits your home.