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Tornado Evacuation Plan

Tornado Evacuation Plan

 

Tornado Evacuations

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms can mean that the evacuation of a whole community is the only option and it happens a lot more regularly than you might think.

When it’s time to go and a whole community is evacuated because of a tornado, it’s down to the officials to tell everyone in the neighborhood that it’s time to leave. Various methods are used — television reports, radios, loud speakers, telephone calls, and/or sirens. Know that it doesn’t matter whether you are at work, at school, at home, or at a store. When you’ve gotta’ go, you’ve gotta go.

Tornado Evacuations are just one cause of people having to leave their homes, but transport or industrial accidents which release harmful substances can also ultimately end up with people having to leave their homes for their own safety. Floods and fire cause frequent evacuations too, whether or not it started with a hurricane, tornado, or tropical storm.

 

Tornado Evacuation Plan Guidelines

Whether the evacuation is caused by a tornado or indeed any other disaster, there are guidelines which need to be followed to make everything run as smoothly and as safely as possible.

  • Have Gas: Keep your car gas tank topped up. If you have to evacuate by car and the gas stations are closed because of the tornado, then you aren’t going to get far. Remember to grab your disaster supply kit on the way out!
    • If you don’t have a car, you need to find a back-up plan. See if you can make arrangements with friends, neighbors, or even the local government in case of a tornado.
  • Dress for the Weather: If at all possible, make sure that you are wearing the right kind of gear to keep yourself warm, comfortable, and dry. It might be difficult if you’re caught in your pajamas in the middle of the night, but do try to think ahead and wear long pants, long sleeves, and even a cap for protection if you have the time.
  • Evacuate Immediately: Gather up your family as quickly as possible and evacuate the area immediately according to the tornado evacuation plan. Don’t forget to tell family or friends where you are heading.
  • Follow Instructions: Always follow the tornado evacuation instructions. Even if the power is out, you can listen to updates on a battery-powered radio.
  • Secure Your Home: Don’t forget to secure your home before you leave. Lock all of the doors and windows and unplug anything electrical except for freezers and refrigerators — unless there’s a high risk of flooding.
  • Do Not Drive Through Water: Don’t drive through flooded areas. Listen to the tornado evacuation information at all times for up to date info about the areas which are most affected and the areas which can be traversed safely.
  • Avoid Power Lines: Keep well clear of downed power lines during a tornado evacuation.
  • Get Out Quickly: During a tornado evacuation, try to move as quickly and as safely as possible. Remember, there won’t be just you trying to make the great escape but also the whole neighborhood trying to get away at the same time. Remain calm, move quickly and above all, be safe!

 

During the Tornado

Tornado preparedness really does start long before the tornado season is upon us. Let’s say that you’ve done lots of preparation for your family, your property, you’ve got a tornado evacuation plan, you’ve got your survival kit ready… but what should you actually do during a tornado?

If a tornado is expected in your area, you really need to make sure that you’re well informed. Here are some tips for when a tornado is expected in your area:

  • Listen to the radio and television for up-to-date information.
  • Close all storm shutters on the windows. Bring any outdoor garden objects indoors and secure your property as best you can.
  • Turn off any utilities if that’s been instructed by the authorities. If you don’t have to turn off the power, switch the refrigerator to its coldest setting and keep the door shut. That way, if the power does go out, the food inside will still remain cold for a long while.
  • Turn off any propane tanks.
  • Make sure that you have plenty of drinkable water available. Fill up the bath tub, buckets, and other large containers. That way if the water services are unavailable, you’ll still have plenty for drinking, washing, cleaning, and flushing the toilet.

It might very well be necessary for you to evacuate in case of a hurricane or tornado. If any of these apply to you and your situation, you need to leave immediately.

  • If the local authorities told you to evacuate, follow their instructions carefully.
  • If you live in a temporary structure or some type of mobile home, then get out now. Even if they’re fastened securely to the ground they’re still extremely dangerous and offer little to no protection from a tornado.
  • If you live on a floodplain, on the coast, close to a river or inland waterway, you should evacuate. Storms can bring torrential rain and flash flooding.
  • If you feel that your safety and the safety of your family is threatened, get out immediately.

If it’s not possible for you to evacuate your home or travel to a safe room, and you have to weather the storm, consider the following:

  • Stay indoors at all times, keeping well away from glass doors and windows.
  • Ensure that all internal doors are closed and external doors are locked and secured.
  • Keep all of the blinds and curtains closed. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if you think that all has gone quiet.
  • Hide away in an interior room if possible. A small closet at the lowest level of the house is best.
  • Take to the floor and stay there. Lie down beneath a table or some other sturdy object for added safety so that things can’t fall on you.

 


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