According to the National Weather Service, in 2015 alone, over 50 tornadoes touched down in the state of Iowa. With the hot temperatures we’ve been facing in the Midwest this summer, storms are sure to follow with a greater possibility of tornadoes as well. Whether you are at home or at work, it is important to have a plan in place to take shelter and protect yourself when a tornado watch or warning is issued. Learn about tips to create this plan with your family and how to seek help or relief after a tornado passes through your area.
What to Do Before a Tornado Strikes
The main thing you can do is create an emergency plan with your family. Ensure all family members know the answers to the following questions:
- Where should we go if a tornado warning or watch is issued?
- What should we do after the storm passes?
- What is our communication plan if we get separated?
With our expertise in disaster response and restoration at Servicemaster by Rice, we can help you and your family determine the safest place in your home to seek shelter as well as other ways to maintain the highest level of safety during a tornado.
Where to Take Shelter During a Tornado
If you’re at home when the sirens go off, retreat to the lowest level of your home, like a basement or inner hallway or room if you don’t have a basement. The most important thing is to put as many walls between you and the storm outside. Make sure the keep away from windows and glass. If a tornado is approaching your home, stay low to the floor and cover your head and eyes from potential debris. If you have a mattress nearby, you can use it as a cushion, but do not cover yourself with it. We recommend using a blanket or jacket instead for the best form of physical protection. If you have pets, bring them with you but keep them on a leash or in a pet crate to ensure they do not get lost in the storm. It might also be a good idea to create a safety kit with first-aid supplies, a flashlight, a radio, water, and the like. Should a tornado hit your home, you can turn to the safety kit for immediate relief.
What to Do After a Tornado Strikes
Before leaving your shelter, wait to make sure the storm has in fact passed. Multiple tornadoes can form in the same storm, so you want to be sure you maintain safety and shelter should another tornado touch down. Once the storm has passed, take caution as you leave your home. There could be unseen and unstable foundation and damages to your home. Also keep an eye open for gas leaks or downed power lines. Once you’ve surveyed the area and it is safe to leave your home, get your family into the open so that you can get everyone accounted for and start surveying the damage. Tend to any injuries using your safety kit, then call your insurance provider and Servicemaster by Rice for immediate attention.
Tornado Relief & Home Restoration in Iowa
If your home sustained a lot of damage, Servicemaster by Rice can provide emergency response, disaster cleanup, and remediation and reconstruction throughout Iowa and southern Minnesota. We can help you clean up the debris surrounding and inside your home then board it up to keep it secure while we create a plan with you to restore and reconstruct your home. We help families clean up and move on from the natural disasters that strike their home, and we make ourselves even more available to these families during tornado season. We try to remove the damage as quickly as possible and give you the home you had before the disaster struck.