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Tornado Preparedness – What to Do Before, During & After the Storm

While tornadoes are most likely to occur throughout “Tornado Alley” between the months of March and June, twisters have been documented all year round in every state and province in North America. Whether you live in a particularly tornado-prone area or not, it’s wise to learn what to do before, during, and after a tornado.

Prepare Before a Tornado

Before the first storm clouds form, begin preparing for a possible tornado:

  • Learn the difference between a tornado watch and warning.
  • Create a 72-hour kit for every family member, including pets.
  • Talk about tornadoes with your family. Create a household evacuation plan so everyone knows what to do if a tornado warning is issued.
  • Purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather radio.
  • Stay informed of the risk and response plans of your community, workplace, and child’s school/daycare center.
  • Store important documents in a safe place and create password-protected digital copies.
  • Trim or remove trees that are dangerously close to your house.
  • Consider installing window shutters and a sump pump.
  • Strengthen your roof and garage doors.
  • Review your insurance coverage.

Stay Safe During a Tornado

Don’t wait until you see a funnel cloud to act! As soon as a tornado warning is issued, do the following:

  • Move unsecured items inside to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the wind.
  • Bring your animals indoors and keep them with you.
  • Tune in to your NOAA radio or local news station for the latest updates.
  • Relocate to an underground shelter, basement, or FEMA safe room, if available. A small, windowless, interior room or hallway on the lowest level of the building is the next best thing.
  • If you live in a mobile home or don’t have access to a sturdy building for another reason, drive to the closest shelter. Stay off bridges and highway overpasses.
  • If strong winds develop while driving, pull over and park. Keep your seatbelt on and the engine running. Put your head down and cover yourself with your arms and a blanket, if available.

Recover After a Tornado

Once the skies clear, begin taking steps toward your recovery.

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe.
  • Check yourself and those around you for injuries. Provide first aid if necessary.
  • Continue listening to the local news or your NOAA radio.
  • If you evacuated, return only when the authorities say it’s safe to do so.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Watch for fallen power lines or broken gas pipes. Report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes.
  • Hire a professional for storm damage restoration.

If your home has been damaged in a tornado, DKI can clean up shattered window glass, perform flood remediation, and stabilize the structure. We also perform preemptive services, including emergency board-up and tree removal. Contact us today to request the service you need.