Call your local brokerage at 1.800.CALL.ZIP

Protect Your Home: Tornado Preparedness

Know Your Tornado Terms

It is important to know the proper tornado terms to understand what to do. Also, the terms dictate the severity of the storm and how close it is from you. Because of this, you should be aware of the terms and easily understand the differences. A tornado watch means that a tornado may happen. You should watch for it by listening to the radio for weather updates, watch the television news report or watch the sky. Tornados have natural warning signs in the color of the sky and the strength in the wind. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been seen or has begun to form or weather radars have noticed a funnel cloud. If your area has issued a tornado warning, you should evacuate or find a safe place for shelter immediately. Remember, a watch means to watch, wait and prepare. A warning means take cover and stay safe.

  • Tornado Fact Sheet – From developing a communications plans to the difference between a warning and watch- everything about tornado safety is included here. 
    • Tornado Safety – Tornado watch and warning differences are explained here.
    • Tornado Information – Terms to know and preparation tips are included on this website about tornadoes.
    • Tornado Hazards – This site offers terms on tornados as well as shelter information.
    • Are You Ready for Tornadoes? – Here you will find tornado terms and information on plans and kits.
    • Tornadoes – Nature’s most violent storms are explained here.
    • Emergency Preparedness Plan – Families can print out this plan to thoroughly prepare for tornadoes.
    • Tornado Safety – Fact sheets on tornados and steps to prepare are included here.
    • Tornado Safety Tips – Here you will find facts, figures and the difference between watches and warnings.
    • Before a Tornado threatens – It is important to know the terms that are used by meteorologists and this site offers that information.

What to do Before a Tornado

If you are noticing a change in your weather, or are concerned about a potential tornado, be sure to stay informed. Listen to the weather radio channel, your regular radio stations for new flashes or your local news for meteorology reports. Make sure to pay attention to the natural warning signs in the sky, while staying safe. If the sky begins to look dark or a deep green, make sure to take cover. Large hail is another warning sign that a tornado is on its way. If you see a big, dark cloud that is close or starting to rotate, immediately seek shelter. Tornados generally make a loud sound, like a roar that sounds like a train. If you see or hear a tornado, you need to take cover immediately.

  • Before a Tornado - FEMA explains what to do before a tornado.
  • Being Prepared – Tornado preparation is discussed by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Tornado Safety Day – Preparing is key to surviving violent and unpredictable storms.
  • Tornado Preparedness – Tips for school administrators are discussed including safety plans.
  • Home Tornado Plan – To be fully prepared, your family should have a home tornado plan.
  • Weather Emergencies – The governor of Delaware offers tornado preparation tips.
  • Tornado Preparedness – The city of Alexandria’s fire department offers tornado preparation tips.
  • Prepare For Tornadoes – Disaster supply checklist is offered by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness team.
  • Preparing for Severe Weather – Here you will find what to do when a tornado hits, including things to grab and what sirens mean.
  • Before a Tornado – The city of Yuma offers tips on what to do before a tornado hits.

What to do During a Tornado

If a tornado warning has been issued, you must immediately seek cover. Proper shelter is determined according to where you are. If you are in a structure, such as your home, school, office or in a small business you should first try to find a basement if there is not a designated storm shelter. For buildings without a lower level, you should go to the center of the lowest room. Try to stay away from windows as glass can break, from doors as they can swing and from corner walls that can be destroyed. Try to take cover under a table and put your arms over your neck and head for protection. Make sure to leave windows shut and doors closed.

A tornado may hit while you are in your car or another mobile vehicle like a trailer or mobile home. You should immediately leave the vehicle and try to find a low and sturdy building. If you are outside without protection, lay in a ditch flat with your hands over your neck and head. Avoid bridges or overpasses as a tornado may destroy them. The safest place you can be is low and flat but be careful of flooding waters. Be careful for things that may be flying, as debris causes the most injury and death during tornados. Never think that you can drive away from, or outrun a tornado.

  • Tornado Safety – Here you will find what to do if caught in a tornado. 
  • Tornado Safety Tips – This site offers tips on what to do if you are caught in a tornado.
  • Tornado Shelter – If you are caught in a tornado, use these tornado shelter tips.
  • Tornado Safety – Oklahoma City has more tornado strikes than any other city within the country and offers tips on tornado safety.
  • Individual Tornado Planning – Preparing for tornados is easy with this emergency plan.
  • Emergency Checklist –Before evacuating, be sure to grab all the items on your emergency checklist.
  • Tornado Tips – Here you will find where to go if you are caught in a tornado.
  • Tornado Safety – Here you will find information on understanding tornadoes and what to do if caught in one.
  • Tornado Safety Rules – Here you will find where to go in a tornado.
  • Tornado Safety – Here are some safety tips for tornado preparation

What to do After a Tornado

Tornados can cause a variety of damage, from property to personal. After a tornado has passed, check to make sure other people are okay. Help out people who are hurt or stuck and call for help when necessary. Check with local news and radio for current information. Stay away from buildings that have been damaged or areas that have a lot of debris. Try to avoid making phone calls, unless it is an emergency. Clean up waste spills, including gasoline, bleach and medicines. Remember to take plenty of pictures for your insurance.

  • Natural Disasters and Weather Emergencies - Preparing and recovery from tornadoes are explained here.
  • Severe Summer Weather – Here you will find information on all aspects of tornadoes, including after one hits.
  • Tornado – Frequently asked questions on tornados are answered here.
  • Tornado Safety - Columbia County details what to do before, during and after a tornado.
  • Safety Tips – Tips for before and after a tornado are highlighted here.
  • Emergency Management - Tornados and other emergencies are explained in depth through this resource.
  • Aftermath – What happens after a tornado hits is explained here with what to look for and when one approaches.
  • After the Tornado – Here you will find tips on what to do after the tornado.
  • Tornado Damage – Information on what to do after the storm hits is included here.
  • What to Do? - What to do after a tornado hits is explained through this resource.
first time home buyer tips - ZipRealty