Most people are aware of the obvious risks from a tornados’ strong winds, which can send debris flying and destroy property. After a tornado hits, however, there are other risks from the wreckage that they leave behind. You could get seriously injured once re-entering your home left-over debris.
The first thing you should do is to make sure the storm is really over before emerging from your storm shelter. Check for the latest weather information related to the storm in your area on your weather radio.
Aiding the Injured
- Check everyone with you for injuries and administer first aid for any minor injuries as needed.
- If you have a seriously injured person in your party, do not attempt to move them unless they are in immediate danger. Call 911.
- If someone has stopped breathing, administer CPR if you have been trained to do so.
- Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure, and have puncture wounds evaluated by emergency medical personnel.
Watch Out For Hazards
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the utility company.
- If your home is damaged, do not enter until emergency management officials say it is safe to go inside.
- Watch for any animals that have been forced into your home by rising waters or flooding. Leave immediately if you smell fumes or gas, and notify emergency personnel.
- If your home has not been damaged, keep children and pets inside, away from any damage or debris outside. If you have to take your pets outside, keep them on a leash.
- If your home has no power, use flashlights and lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.
- If you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
- If you see frayed electrical wiring or sparks, or smell something burning, shut off your home's electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
Safety When Cleaning
- Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves whenever you handle, walk around or are near any debris. Many of the injuries caused by tornados result from stepping on nails in and around damaged homes and buildings.
- Clean up any dangerous spills immediately, including medicines, bleaches, chemicals, gasoline or other flammable liquids.
We hope that you never have to experience the devastation a tornado can have on a community. However; severe storms cannot be avoided – especially if you live in Tornado Alley. But, if you have a preparedness plan and are well informed about disasters, you will already have a leg up on any tornado!