Did you know that lilapsophobia, the abnormal fear of tornadoes, is a serious medical condition? Tornadoes can instill fear in people in a big way, but small, everyday fears of tornadoes can be set aside if you know you are being proactive about your safety.
Any personal injury lawyer will tell you that taking action for your own safety is the best way to avoid injuries and wind up needing their services. While you cannot control what damage a tornado will ultimately cause, planning to stay safe during a tornado is ultimately a way to empower yourself to take any possible steps to stay injury-free.
Tip #1: Familiarize Yourself with Differences in Watches and Warnings
Tornado watches are issued when it is possible that a tornado will affect an area, yet tornado warnings are issued when a tornado is already in progress in your area or soon will be. If there has been a tornado warning, issued, make sure you and your family get to a safe space immediately. There is probably no time to waste, so don't risk it.
Tip #2: Create a Tornado Emergency Supply Kit
It's important to have an emergency safety kit that can keep you and your family members well in the event of a tornado emergency. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that you have enough food and water to last for at least 73 hours. In addition to food and water, be sure to include the following things in your kit:
- Any medications your family members take.
- Other medical supplies that are unique to your family. For example, an asthmatic person will need inhalers on hand, while someone with Type 1 diabetes needs to have access to insulin.
- Diapers and formula if you have a baby.
- Pet food and adequate water supply if you have a pet.
- Warm blankets. (You should have at least one per person. Sleeping bags may be preferable.)
- Fire extinguisher.
- Paper plates, utensils, and cups.
- Paper and pencil.
- Emergency stash of cash.
What you should put in your emergency safety kit varies from family to family. Make sure that your kit addresses the unique needs of each family member, including pets.
Tip #3: Select a Safe Place for Your Family to Go
Choose a predetermined meeting place in case a tornado ever occurs. If your family members may be in different locations, determine the safest place for each member to go in all the places they regularly spend time in. For adults, this is likely their place of work, while you should be sure that your children have learned about tornado safety in school.
The best options for a safe place are generally a basement, an underground shelter of some sort, or a designated safe room. If you don't have these things available in your home, school, or place of business, try to get to a hallway on the lowest level of your home or building. Alternately, go to a windowless interior room.
Tip #4: Create a Safety Plan for Your Family
Make a detailed plan for how all your family members can stay safe during a tornado. Part of this may include taking the following steps.
- Go over where and how all family members will get to your selected tornado safety place. If you will go to gather young kids, make sure they know what they need to do to be ready and cooperate. Be sure to place your tornado emergency safety kit in this area.
- Designate someone who can easily grab pets and place them in the meeting place, too. It should be one of the adults, and generally the person who can easily access the area where pets rest or sleep is the optimal choice.
- Make sure there is access to a weather channel via a radio, phone, computer, or handheld device in the meeting place. You need to be able to check on the progress and severity of the tornado.
- Talk to your children about tornadoes. You should be honest about why they happen, and make sure kids know that they are serious. However, you should reiterate that they are nobody's fault and that there are things that can be done to stay safe.
Customize your safety plan to meet the unique needs of your family.
Finally, if you have been hurt in a tornado and feel you may be entitled to compensation, don't hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney who can help. Safety should be the top priority for all businesses, and companies that fail to protect you need to be held responsible. Personal injury attorneys help clients get the protection and compensation they deserve.