Tornado Tips & Tricks

Our condolences go out to those affected by Monday night’s storms and tornados.

Tornadoes rumbled across the state Monday night putting a daunting end to what was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. Seeking shelter is a routine drill in the months of May and June for Midwest natives. But the fear associated with these massive rotating storms is never knowing if a tornado will actually touch down in your area when the sirens sound. The answer after this past Monday- never take a tornado siren lightly.

As the storm made it’s way West to East, more and more homeowners sought shelter with their family and pets hoping for best case scenarios. Although you know to get down down to the basement or hop in your apartment bathtub, do you know what necessities could save you in these situations? We’re breaking it down for you so you can be prepared the next time a siren sounds.

Where to go

The basement is the simple answer. Make sure you’ve planned out a safety spot that is away from windows and protected by doors. There isn’t a space that is guaranteed to keep you safe, but there are safer places than others in your home. The basement is recommended, but the lowest level of the home is where you should be when these storms strike. Using a sturdy object like a table to hide underneath and a blanket to cover your body will help prevent debris from injuring you.

The not so simple question to answer is where do I go if I’m in a car driving or far away from shelter? The golden rule is to never try outrunning a tornado. The danger in this situation is that your car can be picked up by the tornado. Instead, it is recommended you lie flat with your face down onto the ground with your hands covering your head to prevent any serious injury.

What to bring

There are tornado essentials that you should bring down to the basement with you and keep in your car for intense situations like these.

  • A thick blanket and mattress that will block severe injury from debris

  • Battery powered radio or TV so you can stay informed in the case that the power goes out

  • A fire extinguisher in the basement will ensure that you are more safe if an electrical fire breaks out

  • A flashlight to guide yourself out of any rubble

  • A tool kit and a first aid kit will help in the aftermath of a storm

How to prepare

A family safety plan is the best way to prepare. Once you have your safety spot in the home, leave a kit will all the essential items listed above so you don’t have to panic if the sirens come in the middle of the night. It’s also important to bring any valuables down with you including a fireproof safe with all necessary documents. On your way down to the basement, grab your favorite nonperishable snacks and water in the event you become trapped when the storm subsides.

Next time tornado weather hits you’ll be prepared to keep yourself and your family safe! Comment below the tornado tips and tricks you’ve learned over the years.