How to Create a Tornado Safety Plan for Your Household
Tornadoes form and strike with little to no warning, which is why establishing a tornado safety plan for your household can literally mean the difference between life and death for your loved ones.
How to Create a Tornado Safety Plan
Follow these steps to create a tornado safety plan for your household:
- Identify the safest place in your home for family members and pets to go to in the event of a tornado warning.
- The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement room without windows. If you do not have a basement, the safest place is a windowless inner room (generally a hallway, bathroom, or closet) on the first or lowest floor.
- Get down on the ground and protect your head with anything available (your hands, a blanket, sleeping bag, etc.)
- If possible, go under something sturdy, such as a heavy piece of furniture.
- Create or print out a floorplan of your home.
- Walk through your home and discuss primary and secondary exits in each room. Indicate where they are on the floorplan.
- Note where your first aid kit, emergency supplies and fire extinguishers are located on the floorplan.
- Write down the location of utility switches or valves so that they can be turned off.
- Review the tornado warning system for your area.
- Review basic first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how to turn off utilities (gas, water, electricity).
- Conduct periodic drills to make sure family members know what to do in the event of a real emergency.
Other Ways to Prepare for a Tornado
- Make a list of important information, such as:
- Medical information (medications, allergies, medical conditions)
- Important telephone numbers (emergency services, utility companies, neighbors, insurance agent, banks)
- Year, model, color, license plate, and VIN numbers for your vehicle(s)
- Create an emergency supply kit, which, at a minimum, should include:
- Battery-operated NOAA weather radio
- First aid kit
- One gallon of water per person per day
- Flashlights and batteries
- Cordless power bank
- Non-perishable food
- Personal hygiene products – soap, deodorant, feminine products, toothbrush, toothpaste, antibacterial wipes, tissues, hairbrush, or comb
- Store important documents in a fire- and water-proof location. You should also consider storing copies in a safety deposit box at a bank. Important documents include:
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Pet chip information
- Insurance policies
- Medical documents
- Ownership documents
- Inventory of valuable items, and photos, or videos of each room of your home and the items inside