Tornadoes – PREPARE for the Winds of Death!

2 May

Whoo boy.

You all probably know that we just got hammered by Tornadoes.

Mississippi and Alabama are a mess.

And sadly, there were hundreds of  deaths and several hundred injuries. And we’re not thru counting, I’m sad to report.

I spend a lot of time talking to you about the “up-side” of our ISBU Steel Houses.

But many of you aren’t there yet.

This is just the beginning of Tornado Season, so as a reminder…

Here’s a few “Tornado Tips”:

Call your insurance agent and insure that you’re covered for tornado damage. DO THIS TODAY!

I’ve been to several tornado sites in the last few days and I can tell you firsthand that the damage is devastating. You cannot possibly imagine what a tornado can do, until one visits you. It’s like running a bulldozer across your entire county…

Sometimes it even cleans up after itself!

The secret to survival is acting early and correctly.

Where I live, there are still lots of Mobile Homes.

Listen carefully:

If your area is under a “tornado watch” or “hurricane warning”, and you live in a mobile home… for heaven’s sake…

Don’t be stupid. Get OUT! Gather up your family and go somewhere safe and secure. Do it BEFORE it becomes too late. You cannot outrun a tornado or hurricane with a car. I don’t care what you’ve seen on TV, in reality, it just doesn’t work.

Prepare for the event in ADVANCE.

Put together a “Go Bag.”

Get a knapsack and stuff it full of all the important things; medicines, food, extra clothing, important documents, water, you name it. Do this for EACH member of your family. You can FIND “Go Bag Content Lists” all over the place. Just GOOGLE it.

One of those bags should contain an emergency radio.

You’ve seen them before. The best ones use a crank to charge a battery so they always work.

When preparing for ANY kind of crisis, be it a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake or a big fire…

Practice your “Disaster/Evacuation plan!”

Know what you’re supposed to do, know where you’re supposed to go… and then JUST DO IT!

And, do it often enough so that you know what to do without thinking about it. Remember – “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!”

(“Sloppy practice” just creates bad habits and peril.)

Turn off the gas!

When your home gets ripped up by a tornado or hurricane, your gas lines get torn out too.

Somewhere along that damage strewn path, there’s gonna be gas leaking. You’ll need an adjustable wrench to accomplish this. Get to your main as early as you possibly can and turn the gas off.

Turn your water off!

For the same reasons, when a tornado heads your way, it’s a good idea to turn off your home’s water main.

It’s hard enough to survive a hit without being soaking wet. Trust me on this one.

If you’re hearing Sirens, you’re too late.

Act as swiftly as you can, as early as you can. That way, you’ll be safe and calm(er) when the tornado or hurricane arrives.

When tornadoes loom, go low.

Find the lowest section of your house and go there. Here in Coastal Mississippi, we don’t have basements. If you’re fortunate enough to have one, go there.

If not…find the lowest part of your house and then hunker down in a doorway or hallway. Getting into a bathtub is a good idea, unless it’s on an exterior wall.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen bathtubs sucked out of houses. If you’re in it, you’re going for a ride.

Once you’ve hunkered down, stay put, stay down and cover your heads.

In fact, find a thick blanket or even a mattress and throw that over you, too. Make sure that your head is covered! You can live with a broken arm. Living with a broken head is another matter entirely.

Avoid windows and glass doors.

Taping them with a big “X” made out of duct tape isn’t going to help.

In fact, it’s just going to make larger pieces of jagged glass flying around like a buzzsaw.

I saw a tree that had glass embedded into it, all connected by duct tape. It was like a “flying sawblade of death”. Save the duct tape for NASCAR, huh?

In a hurricane or a tornado, glass is the first thing to go. In fact, everything glass in your house should be secured, if you have time. (This includes stuff like big flower vases and even fish tanks if you can safely move them.) Otherwise, all that glass is going to become jagged shrapnel flying through your home trying to kill you.

If you’re in your car, pull over and get out.

CAR + TORNADO = RIDE. Capish? 😉

Find a culvert or low-lying area and go there. Flooring it and trying to get away isn’t going to work.

There. That should get you started.

Stay safe.

This informative post has been brought to you by the letter “T”, and the color Gray.

(Because we lived long enough to turn gray! You should be so lucky!) 😉

Image Credits: AP