Tornado Warning: Three Steps to Surviving
Imagine you’re at home, lying on the sofa half asleep. Outside the wind is howling. The television casts glowing colors across the dim room.
You’re so relaxed, you almost miss the flashing news ticker that appear on the lower third of the TV screen. It’s a weather advisory from the local news station. A Tornado Warning!
You immediately sit up and rub your eyes in disbelief. The warning lists your town as the affected area.
Would you know what to do in this situation? If your answer is to close your eyes, tap your heels together three times and say “there’s no place like home”, you’ll find this month’s newsletter highly informative!
Together, we’ll go through the three most important things we can do to survive and thrive during a tornado.
Watches and Warnings
First we need to be clear on the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. It’s the difference between being safe, and being Mother Nature’s shot put.
A tornado watch means conditions are ideal for tornadoes in and close to the watch area. People in affected areas should prepare (as best they can) for severe weather, property damage, even power outages and disruption to public utilities.
A tornado warning is much more dangerous. It means a tornado has been sighted. If this is the case, you have only minutes to collect the family, make emergency survival preparations and take cover.
Making a Few Assumptions
For the sake of expediency, let’s assume you’ve already made some preparations beforehand. We’ll imagine that your important computer files are backed up to a remote location using a cloud service like Dropbox and Backblaze.
If not, why not do that now using the links provided.
Let’s also assume that you had the wisdom and foresight to store copies of your household deed, insurance papers and birth and marriage certificates in a safety deposit box.
Bonus points if you have an emergency cash stash there too.
Three Suggestions for Survival
Since this is a tornado warning and not a watch, there are only minutes to spare. Let’s get moving.
The first thing to do is plug in and charge up any rechargeable batteries, smartphones, laptops and power tools you own while your home still has electrical power.
In the event of widespread power outages, your home could be without electricity for days, even weeks.
As the devices recharge, gather up every jug and empty bottle you can find and fill them with water. This is your drinking water in case public utilities go down. While you’re at it, fill all tubs and sinks too. This water will be used for washing.
Now comes the scary part. Most injuries and fatalities in a tornado are caused by flying objects: lawn furniture, gardening equipment, loose construction materials and so on. In a tornado’s 250 mile per hour winds, that become deadly high velocity projectiles.
If there’s anything in the yard that could be used against you, securely anchor it or bring it inside. Of course, use extreme caution. It’s best to do this step if the advisory is on watch and not warning.
With time running out, everyone should head for the basement (and don’t forget your pets). If you don’t have a basement, hide in a small interior room and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
The objective is to put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Hopefully you’ll never be faced with this scary situation, but remember these tips if you are and you should be able to survive almost anything.
Building Insights Inc Professional Property Inspections