Tornadoes

Author: D16 March 13, 2014

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again when many areas around the country are hit with unforgiving tornadoes.  Though they are most common in and around Tornado Alley (e.g., Oklahoma or Texas), they hit our area too!  It is important to know how to handle an emergency before, during, and after because we all know that these storms can level buildings of any size and send just about anything flying through the sky as if it were weightless.  Keep you and your family safe with a solid plan in advance.  According to FEMA.com, here are some helpful tips to consider:

Before:

  • Make a family plan within your household
    • How will you communicate if you are not together?
    • Go over plans that are in place at work or school.
    • Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go when a warning is issued.
    • Download a FEMA Family Emergency Plan.
  • Make an emergency kit
    • Food, Water, Basic Supplies/Essentials to survive for 72 hours.
  • Be alert, watch for storms, and listen to any instructions and warnings given by emergency management officials.

During:

  • Signs of a tornado include:  Dark (maybe green) sky, large hail, dark, low-lying cloud, rotating clouds, or a loud roar (like a freight train).
  • Take shelter!
    • If you are inside a structure, go to the designated shelter area (basement, safe room, cellar).  If there is no basement/cellar, go to the center-most area on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors, or outside walls.  Use arms to protect head/neck.  Do not open windows.
    • If you are in a mobile home get out and seek sturdy shelter immediately, if in a vehicle immediately drive to the closest sturdy shelter.  If that is not possible, park the car and put your head down below windows and cover yourself with a coat or blanket.  You could also get out and lie in an area lower than the roadway and cover your head.  NEVER get under an overpass.  Watch for flying debris.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado, especially in an urban area where it can be congested.

After:

  • Check for injuries and DO NOT move others that are seriously injured.
  • If trapped, attract attention so you can be found.
  • Be very careful when entering or exiting a damaged building.  This is how most injuries from tornadoes occur.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Cooperate with public safety officials.
  • If you are able, volunteer to assist police, firemen, or emergency relief organizations.

The Aftermath:

  • Be aware of hazards in or around your home.
  • If your home has significant damage, avoid further disaster by shutting off the homes electric and gas.
  • If you smell gas, call the gas company immediately, do not turn on lights, and do not do anything that would create a spark.  Then leave the home immediately.
  • Call Swartz Contracting to assess the damage and begin the process to get you back to normal as soon as possible!  800-462-1024

 

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