March 6-10th is Tornado Preparedness Week. Whether you live in an area with a high frequency of tornadoes or not, it is important on how to be prepared and what to do if you are ever in an area that has frequent tornado warnings. “Tornado Alley” covers about 15% of the US, spanning from Dallas to Sioux Falls and west to Albuquerque, reporting over 30% of US tornadoes which is about 268 per year. Coastal states often experience tornadoes as well, with Florida receiving about 49 per year. In total, the US experienced over 1,000 reported tornadoes in 2020 that caused over $2.5 billion in damages. Tornadoes are dangerous, moving at speeds of up to 70 mph, allotting little to no time to react if one happens near you. Thus, everyone should learn how to prepare their homes and businesses before a tornado occurs to make sure you know ways to remain safe during one and what you can do afterwards.
Before a tornado, build or find a safe room because you won’t have time to prep your house or business before a tornado strikes. A safe room can be constructed in the basement, an interior space on the first floor, or garage-like concrete floor. It needs to be able to withstand high winds and flying debris that may destroy the surrounding building. It must be anchored to resist overturning and uplifting, the walls, ceiling, and door must withstand wind pressure and resist penetration by debris, and sections of either interior or exterior resistance walls must be separated from the structure of the home so damage to the residence doesn’t affect the safe room.
Know the warning signs of a tornado:
- Dark or greenish sky
- Large hail
- Large, dark, low-lying clouds, often rotating
- Loud roar, similar to freight train
If any of these signs occur, seek shelter immediately. During the tornado, spread the word. Once you arrive to shelter safely, cover your body as best as possible, get under a sturdy table or desk, lie down, and cover your head with your arms, blanket, or jacket.
After a tornado, get information. This can come from the FEMA, Red Cross, or other websites to find out if it is safe to leave your shelter. Stay in place if you’re trapped and try to cover your mouth to avoid breathing in dust and debris. Inspect the damages with photographs and contact your insurance company immediately if possible.
Follow these tips and make your employees aware of proper tornado signs and emergency procedures. To learn more about tornado preparedness visit: https://www.thehartford.com/claims/tornado-safety?cmp=EMC-CAT-Tornado2302-41056998.
DII is your partner in home and worksite safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to educate your employees and keep everyone at the worksite safe during a tornado. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #Tornados #Preparedness