Just because the storm has passed does not mean you and your family are out of danger. There are simple safety rules to follow after a tornado to keep you out of harm’s way.
Wait for clearance
After a tornado passes, you need to continue listening to the local news or radio for updated information and instructions. That’s why it’s important to have a battery powered radio with you. The power may be out and cell service may be interrupted. Don’t move from your safe shelter until you are told it’s OK by your local enforcement agency. If you are away from your home, return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
Your safety is the most importantt
The first thing you should do is make sure your family is healthy and can get safely out of your home. Don’t stay to inspect any damage until you’re assured that your home is structurally sound.
- Take care of any injuries you or your family may have sustained first. If there are other people nearby, make sure they are not hurt as well.
- Be on alert for downed power lines or broken gas lines. Report any issues to your utility companies.
- If you smell gas, open a window and evacuate quickly. Call your gas company or fire department.
Be safe when inspecting damage
If you’ve been cleared to re-enter your home, take the following precautions while inspecting damage:
- Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes while checking the walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
- Do not use candles while inspecting a building, use a battery-powered flashlight.
- Take care while cleaning up spilled medications, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids. They could become a fire hazard.
Make sure you take pictures of any damage to your home and property. If you’re diligent with repairs and your record keeping, it can help ease the recovery and claim process.