What immediately comes to mind when you think of a tornado? For most people, they think of a powerful and violent twister with whirling winds that can destroy anything in its path. Your mind may automatically flash to blockbuster movies where cars are sucked into the tornado and objects are hurled through the air. Either way, you know tornadoes can be unpredictable and it’s important to always be prepared.

During these powerful storms, it’s important to keep an eye on weather updates and understand what the updates mean. If a tornado WATCH is announced, it means a tornado is possible. If a tornado WARNING is announced, it means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon, and you need to take precautions immediately.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe before, during and after a tornado.

How to prepare for a tornado

  • Make sure you’ve got an emergency preparedness kit. It should include enough food, water and supplies for at least 72 hours.
  • Create and practice a household evacuation plan for your family and your pets
  • Stay informed about your community’s risk
  • Know the signs of a tornado, which can include the following:
    • Dark, often greenish clouds
    • Large hail
    • Large, dark, low lying clouds
    • A loud, roaring wind

Where to take shelter during a tornado

House:

Gather in a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

High-Rise Building:

Pick a hallway in the center of the building if you do not have time to get to the lowest floor.

Mobile Home:

Choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. A mobile home is not a safe location during a tornado.

Vehicle:

Drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to drive, get down in your car and cover your head.

After a tornado

Even though the tornado has passed, that doesn’t mean the danger is gone. It’s important to still proceed with caution. Be on the lookout for downed power lines and damaged buildings, because debris can be scattered and cause injury.

If traveling outside after a tornado, wear sturdy boots in case of harmful debris, such as glass and nails, which could have been blown around during the storm. After a tornado, let family and friends know you’re safe, and if evacuated only return home once authorities say it is safe to do so.  Also, if your home or property has been damaged from the tornado, it’s imperative to photograph the damage to be able to assist in filing your insurance claim.  You’ll also want to prevent any further damage to your property because your homeowner’s policy may not cover additional damage after the storm. Make sure that you remove the trash around the property and placing a tarp on your damaged roof to help prevent any further damage inside your home.

Tornadoes usually appear suddenly with very little warning. This is why it’s important to understand the dangers these storms may bring upon you and your family. Make a plan today and be prepared! Just because tornadoes are unpredictable, doesn’t mean you can’t be ahead of the game. If you have any questions about the dangers of tornadoes or how to prepare, contact a Bankers agent today!


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