Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent and destructive storms and can destroy anything within a matter of seconds. It’s important to know what to do before, during and after a tornado.
Before a Tornado Hits
- Know the signs of a tornado. A funnel cloud is the first and most obvious sign, but also look out for an approaching cloud of debris or a loud roar that mimics a freight train. You may also see a change of color in the sky.
- Before tornado season rolls around (usually Spring & Summer), it’s a good idea to look at your home insurance policy to ensure you’re covered in the event storm-related damage occurs. Not sure if it does? Not a problem! Give TGS Insurance Agency a call at 1-800-846-1882 or visit our website to have an insurance agent look over your current policy or get you a new one with the proper protection.
- Stay updated and connected with your local weather station by downloading their news app. So if your power gets knocked out, you can still get updates on your phone. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio will also provide emergency alerts.
- Make a plan with your family. Ensure everyone in your home knows where to go during a tornado. Go ahead and keep some extra blankets in the designated room so it’s one less thing you have to grab. Ideally, you want to be in a small, windowless, interior room on the lowest level of the building.
- Have a kit of supplies you may need after the tornado. This kit should include:
- Battery-powered or crank flashlight.
- Battery-powered or crank radio, or your cell phone to listen for emergency updates.
- First aid kit to treat any minor injuries.
- Whistle or horn to alert emergency responders if you’re trapped by debris.
- Dust mask to protect yourself from inhaling fine debris or dust.
- Food and water (think of your pets too).
- Medications and supplies.
During a Tornado
- Most injuries or fatalities from tornadoes are caused by wind-borne debris, so your goal should be to go to the safest place before the tornado hits and take additional measures to cover yourself and others.
- Listen to your local news station or emergency alerting systems for more information and storm updates.
- If you’re out and about try to find someplace to seek shelter until the tornado watch has passed.
- If the tornado watch turns into a tornado warning, immediately go to the safe place you and your family identified and take cover.
- Do not ever try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. If you catch yourself outside and cannot get to a building for shelter, try to find a low place or ditch to duck and cover. If you’re unable to leave your car, leave your seatbelt on and duck below your windows and cover your head. Do not ever hide under an overpass, contrary to some popular belief it’s not the safest place to be.
- Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado, so if you do live in one seek permanent shelter immediately.
Quick Tip: Keep your windows closed! The old myth of opening windows to reduce pressure is just that, a myth. It’s thought that it will equalize the pressure in your home and protect it from damage, but it’s unnecessary and just wastes time.
After a Tornado
- Listen to your local news or emergency broadcast system for updates and information. Wait until you’ve received the all clear before moving outside because multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.
- Keep your family together and wait for emergency services to arrive. If you are with someone who is hurt, provide aid until a medical professional can help.
- If you are in a heavily damaged building, act fast to get out because they can collapse at any time.
- Stay away from power lines!
- If you find yourself trapped try to send a text, whistle or bang on a nearby object to get attention for help.
- Review the damage done to your home and property and document it all immediately for insurance. If you need to file a claim you can either give us a call at 1-855-661-4056 or visit our website here.
If you live in an area where tornadoes are active, we highly recommend giving TGS Insurance Agency a call to ensure your home is protected the way it should be. You can give us a ring at 1-800-846-1882 or visit our website to get started.