Tornado Preparedness

Tornado survival and tornado preparedness tend to go hand in hand. In other words, the more prepared you are for a tornado, the better chance you and your family will have of surviving it. Preparing for a tornado is a lot like preparing for a blizzard. For the most part, both weather events happen in semi-predictable geographical locations, and in certain seasons, so you have a better than average idea when and where these disasters will happen. It’s estimated that an average of 800 tornadoes are reported each year in the United States, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1500 injuries.

Tornado survival

Unlike other survival plans where you would want to leave your home for a safer location, tornado preparedness means coming up with a plan where you would want to shelter in place and make the best of the protection that your existing floor plan would offer. Like most survival plans, preparing for a tornado begins with a family meeting. At the meeting you, and your family members would identify the safest places in your home for you and your pets to gather. Then you would establish an alternative way to exit each room and identify shelter.

Preparing for a Tornado

Equipment that would help you in the event of a tornado should be purchased and added to a large, water-resistant survival kit. Those items will vary depending on your type of structure and your location. Listed below are items that should be in your tornado survival kit.

  • 5-day supply of water (at least ½ gallon per person / day)
  • A folder containing. . .
    • Instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water
    • Copies of your deeds
    • Vehicle titles
    • Insurance policies / agents contact information
    • Wills
    • Doctors’ names and contact information
    • Current prescription medication lists
    • Contact information for local police / fire stations
    • Contact information for utility companies
    • Names and contact information of neighbors
  • 5-day supply of prescription medications
  • Extra oxygen tanks (for elderly etc..)
  • First aid kit
  • 5-day supply of non-perishable food including . . .
    • MRE’s
    • Power bars
    • Beef sticks / jerky
    • Canned food with pull tab lids
  • Battery-powered weather radio
  • LED flashlights
  • A clothing chest including. . .
    • Two changes of clothing for each person
    • Work boots for each person
    • Work gloves for each person
    • Blankets
    • Pop-up camping tent
    • Sleeping bags
    • A leather work belt with large pockets
  • knives, multi-tools, and hatchets
  • Disposable lighters
  • Baby wipes (along with other toiletries)
  • Extra sets of car keys
  • $500 in cash
  • Extra credit and debit cards
  • A portable charging station for cell phones
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Propane tanks and small heaters

Remember, the contents of your tornado survival kit will vary depending on your location and your type of dwelling. People who live in a single-story home or a multi-story home, will have different needs than someone who lives in a condominium, or an apartment. Location and climate are also factors that will affect your survival kit. Someone who lives in a warm weather city would have different needs, and need different items, than someone who lives in a rural area with colder weather. Preparing for a tornado won’t be easy, and it will be time consuming, so the time to start is now!