Tornado Safety Tips from Ground Zero Storm Shelters

Your Well-Being

If you are aiding in helping victims or clean-up, take your health seriously. Take a look at our recommended tips below:

  • Be aware of exhaustion. Don’t try to do too much at once: set priorities, pace yourself & get enough rest.
  • Drink plenty of clean water & eat well.
  • Wear sturdy work boots & gloves.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water often when working in debris.


Have more questions? No worries! Contact us for more information – we would love hearing from you!

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Safety Issues

It is of the utmost importance that you are aware of how to handle safety issues after a disaster. First thing, make sure you are aware of the new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for:

  • Washed Out Roads
  • Gas Leaks
  • Contaminated Buildings
  • Broken Glass
  • Contaminated Water
  • Slippery Floors
  • Damaged Electrical Wiring

Inform local authorities about the health and safety issues you are dealing with, including the following:

  • Downed Power Lines
  • Dead Animals
  • Chemical Spills
  • Smoldering Insulation
  • Washed Out Roads

Contact Ground Zero Storm Shelters if you have any more questions! We are here to help!

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What to Avoid When Entering Your Home after a Natural Disaster

Inspect your home carefully before entering! Walk carefully around the perimeter and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering. Please keep the following items in mind as well:

  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use a battery-powered flash light to inspect your damaged home. (Please note: the flashlight should be turned on outside before entering - the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • As you return home, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.

Do not enter if:

  • You smell gas.
  • Floodwaters remain around the building.
  • Your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.

If you would like more information about tornado shelters, please feel free to contact us – we are here to help!

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What to Look for When Entering Your Home After a Natural Disaster

When you go inside your home after a natural disaster, there are certain things you should and should not do. Enter the home carefully and check for damage. Be aware of loose boards and slippery floors. The following items are other things to check inside your home:

  • Natural Gas - If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, open a window and leave immediately. Turn off the main gas valve from the outside, if you can. Call the gas company from a neighbor’s residence. If you shut off the gas supply at the main valve, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Do not smoke or use oil, gas lanterns, candles or torches for lighting inside a damaged home until you are sure there is no leaking gas or other flammable materials present.
     
  • Roof, Foundation & Chimney Cracks - If it looks like the building may collapse, leave immediately.
     
  • Clean Up Household Chemical Spills - Disinfect items that may have been contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. Also clean salvageable items.
     
  • Appliances - If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again. Also, have the electrical system checked by an electrician before turning the power back on.
     
  • Basement - If your basement has flooded, pump it out gradually (about one third of the water per day) to avoid damage. The walls may collapse and the floor may buckle if the basement is pumped out while the surrounding ground is still waterlogged.
     
  • Water & Sewage Systems - If pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. Check with local authorities before using any water; the water could be contaminated. Pump out wells and have the water tested by authorities before drinking. Do not flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.
     
  • Food & Other Supplies - Throw out all food and other supplies that you suspect may have become contaminated or come in to contact with floodwater.
     
  • Sparks, Broken or Frayed Wires - Check the electrical system unless you are wet, standing in water or unsure of your safety. If possible, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If the situation is unsafe, leave the building and call for help. Do not turn on the lights until you are sure they’re safe to use. You may want to have an electrician inspect your wiring.
     
  • Open Cabinets - Be alert for objects that may fall.
     
  • Call Your Insurance Agent - Take pictures of damages. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.

What are you waiting for? Start protecting your family by ordering your shelter today!

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Watch Out for Animals & Wildlife

Disaster and life threatening situations will exacerbate the unpredictable nature of wild animals. To protect yourself and your family, learn how to deal with wildlife.

Please see our recommended guidelines below:

  • Wild animals often seek higher ground which, during floods, eventually become submerged (i.e., island) and the animals become stranded. If the island is large enough and provides suitable shelter, you can leave food appropriate to the species (i.e., sunflower seeds for squirrels). Animals have a flight response and will flee from anyone approaching too closely. If the animal threatens to rush into the water, back away from the island or you may frighten the animal into jumping into the water to escape from you.
     
  • Beware of an increased number of snakes and other predators. These animals will try to feed on the carcasses of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals who have been drowned or crushed in their burrows or under rocks.
     
  • Do not approach wild animals that have taken refuge in your home. Wild animals such as snakes, opossums and raccoons often seek refuge from floodwaters on upper levels of homes and have been known to remain after water recedes. If you encounter animals in this situation, open a window or provide another escape route and the animal will likely leave on its own. Do not attempt to capture or handle the animal. Should the animal stay, call your local animal control office or wildlife resource office.
     
  • Do not attempt to move a dead animal. Animal carcasses can present serious health risks. Outbreaks of anthrax, encephalitis and other diseases may occur. Contact your local emergency management office or health department for help and instructions.
     
  • Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. Wild animals will likely feel threatened and may endanger themselves by dashing off into floodwaters, fire, and so forth. Call your local animal control office or wildlife resource office.
     
  • If bitten by an animal, seek immediate medical attention.

Have more questions? No worries! Contact us for more information – we would love hearing from you!

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Natural Disaster Assistance

Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media outlets for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. Help can be found in both direct assistance and federal assistance. We break these down below. 

Direct & Local Assistance

Direct and local assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including:

These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

Federal Assistance

In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.
Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a “Major Disaster” for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply. FEMA also provides many grants, learn more here.

If you have any questions, or would like more information about our storm shelters, contact us

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