Tornadoes can have a certain season (March to June), but they can happen anytime, in any city. When they do, these violent vertical trains of fast-spinning air can have intense wind and immediate effects. In fact, according to National Geographic, a tornado can clear a road one mile wide and 50 miles long, with winds up to 250 miles per hour.
To help prepare your home or business for a tornado, discover five tips to stay safe in the storm:
- Know what to look at. When there is a tornado watch it means that it is possible. A tornado warning however, means that it already occurs (or will occur soon). Look for signs of the storm, like a darker sky (especially if it is green or orange), whirling debris or a mess that sounds like continuous thunder.
- Enter a safe space. When there is a tornado warning, where should you take the cover? Every home and business should have a protection area, and everyone should know where it is. Of course, experts recommend a basement. But if you don't have one, the next best option is a room with no windows at the lowest level. (For those who live or work in high-rise buildings, a hall in the middle of the building is safest. Those in a mobile home should choose a robust building nearby.)
- Stash emergency objects in it. Once you know where to go, think about what you need. If you are banished to the basement for hours or days, you want bottled water, unpleasant food, a flashlight and phone charger. Take it one step further and bring a whistle to signal help, dust masks, damp towels, dustbags, sleeping bags and changing clothes. For more suggestions, get guidance from Ready.gov.
- Fill your first aid kit. In case of injury or emergency, make sure you stock up. And teach your family / employees how to use them. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of items that you should always have access to.
- Invest in fire and waterproof safes. This will help you avoid damage to essential documents. Keep your most important information inside it, such as social security cards, birth certificates, ownership certificates, insurance, wills and an inventory of your home / business.
When you know that a tornado is close, go to your safe space. Get away from all windows and, if possible, get a robust piece of furniture. Then use your arms to protect your head and neck and encourage someone to do the same.
After the storm has passed, check for damage. Frankenmuth policyholders can report claims 24 hours a day, seven days a week.