Being in the path of a tornado is hopefully something you never have to experience. But if you live somewhere that has a reasonable risk for tornadoes (almost everywhere in the US except the west coast and extreme northeast), it is best that you have a plan to get yourself to safety, and take care of the immediate aftermath. It never hurts to know someone who has their masters in leadership to help you out. Here are a few tips that should help get you started making your tornado emergency and disaster response plan:
Have a designated safe area where you will go during a tornado warning.
Typically, your area will be under a tornado watch for at least a couple of hours before it is put under a tornado warning. During a watch period, keep track of what the weather looks like online, on TV, or on the radio. If a tornado warning does get issued, or you see a funnel cloud, you need to have a place where you can go to stay safe. Basements are usually the best option, as well as storm cellars and specially built, reinforced safe rooms.
If you can’t get underground, you may need to think about fleeing in a vehicle. Though a car is a very bad place to be in a tornado, you could be facing an even worse scenario by staying in your home above ground. Fleeing should only be done if you are absolutely sure you have enough time to drive out of the path of the tornado. A safer option is to leave before a warning is issued for your area if there is a confirmed tornado that is heading in your direction.
Make backups of anything crucial to your personal life or business.
If a tornado were to hit your home or business, there is a good chance that any personal papers or computers will be destroyed. This is why it is always a good idea to have duplicates, or the originals, of important documents somewhere secure like a safety deposit box at a bank. Having your wills, deeds, titles, contracts, etc. in a location outside your home guarantees there will be surviving documentation of many important items.
At the same time, having either an online backup of your computer, or a USB stick with important documents from your computer on it can ensure that if your computer gets destroyed, it is not a total loss.
Add anything important onto your insurance policy.
Keeping your insurance policy up to date is important for any disaster response plan since you don’t want to be under-insured if a tornado were to strike. Some purchases may need to be specifically stated to your insurance agent, especially if they cost a lot, such as expensive jewelry, ATVs, etc.
Your insurance agent should be able to tell you exactly what needs to be added before it can be claimed, and whether or not you need to increase the total amount of insurance you have because of it.
These are just a few helpful tips for making the best out of a disastrous situation. The important thing is planning ahead for safety and security during the tornado and also the aftermath; that cannot be overstated enough.