Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms, and while the vast majority of them are weak and short in duration, they can cause significant damage. An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year causes $1.1 billion in property damage, 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 2 percent of tornadoes fall under the most violent classification, meaning they can reach wind speeds of 250 miles per hour or more.
While damage from strong storms is often inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimize harm to your property and protect your personal safety. You shouldn’t wait until severe weather is predicted in your area to take action – plan ahead for hailstorms, wind storms and tornadoes by following these steps.
Prior to the arrival of a storm, you should take the following steps:
Your kit should include:
- A three-day supply (minimum) of water and non-perishable food for each family member
- First-aid supplies
- Personal hygiene items
- Portable radio
- Fresh batteries
- Basic tools and work gloves
- Portable lanterns
- Signaling device (such as an air horn)
- Prescription medications
- Extra car keys
- Extra eyeglasses
- Important contact numbers (such as medical centers, insurance agents, utilities, neighbors and family members)
- Copies of important documents (such as identification, insurance policies, ownership certificates and banking information)
2 Create & Practice a Plan of Action for Your Family
Discuss where and how you will seek shelter during a storm. Establish your family’s storm room, whether an in-garage storm shelter, a tornado pod or an underground storm shelter. Ensure that everyone is aware of the location of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, and choose a place for your family to meet if you get separated. Designate a contact person to communicate with concerned relatives, and ensure that you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves in the event of a disaster.
3 Maintain Trees and Shrubbery in Your Yard
Removing weak branches and eliminating trees that could fall on your home due to high winds could be helpful in keeping your home safe during a storm. Falling trees and blowing debris in storms often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
4 Stay Tuned to Local Radio and TV Stations for Important Weather Updates
Tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings, and the sooner you’re aware that a storm is on the way, the sooner you can get your family to safety.
5 Identify the Safest Area of Your Home
Establish a place where you and your family can take shelter when the storm hits. In most structures, this will be the basement or a small interior room without windows, such as a bathroom. In a high-rise building, seek out a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Close interior doors, and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
6 Identify Escape Routes from Your Home or Neighborhood
Decide on a safety escape route, whether from your home or neighborhood, in the case of a serious storm or aftermath. Note whether you need any additional equipment such as a rope ladder.
7 Secure Top-Heavy Furniture that Could Topple Over
Furniture such as bookcases or large cabinets should be anchored to walls to prevent them from falling over during a storm. If possible move furniture away from doors and windows before a storm arrives.
8 Stay Away from Windows and Doors When the Storm Arrives
Keep all exterior doors and windows closed to prevent rain and falling debris damage in your home’s interior.
ready.gov and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional information on how to keep your family and property safe during dangerous storms.
Our mission at Southern Safe Rooms is to provide quality well-built safe rooms that exceed FEMA standards and are certified to withstand an EF5 tornado. All of our storm shelters are fabricated in Tulsa, Oklahoma with the expertise of 110+ years of steel manufacturing at the most competitive prices on the market today. Call us today at (918) – 584- 3371