When the Wind Blows: Tornado Survival
The most unpredictable aspect of life as a Wisconsinite has to be the fickle weather she brings along with her every season. With the ability to produce the wrath of every element imaginable, being prepared for pending disaster is essential for anyone making Wisconsin their home. In this edition of SERVPRO Survival we will be reviewing the basic steps to take when you find yourself in the line of disaster. In light of a recent study that has dug into our past and discovered that a tornado has occurred IN EVERY MONTH of the year (except February) we have compiled an easy to follow, comprehensive list of what to do and where to go if you find yourself in the path of an incoming twister.
Scenario 1: At Home
- Seek shelter in the lowest, most interior room available. AVOID ALL WINDOWS.
- The center of the room has been proven to be the safest location.
- Find fixed/secured furniture such as a work bench or heavy desk and anchor yourself.
- Always keep head and neck protected from injury. Athletic helmets have been used and have saved lives in extreme weather conditions, as it provides and extra amount of security to your head. So use one if available. Keep very small children strapped into car seat if available. (Do not go to car to retrieve)
- Vehicles and Mobile homes provide little no protection to extreme elements. If possible, seek shelter in a more secure area such as basement or inner area of nearby building.
Scenario 2: At Work or School (Shopping Center)
- Seek immediate shelter in a secure inside hallway/ AVOID ALL WINDOWS
- Avoid all areas with a wide-spanned roof, such as large hallways, open gymnasiums and cafeterias. They sustain the most wind damage and leave you vulnerable when roof is dismantled.
- Sturdy furniture or secured items such as heavy desks or work benches provide added protection.
- Always protect your head and neck with hands and arms, or articles of clothing available for added protection.
Scenario 3: In Your Car
- If you are caught by strong winds, immediately park your car safely out of the line of traffic. Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt attached. Cover your head and protect your neck, keep head lower than line of window.
- Use a blanket, cushion or anything available to cover yourself from flying debris
- If time is on your side and the twister is visible but in the distance, you need to act quickly. Seek immediate shelter in nearest building available, your car is unsafe shelter.
- NEVER SEEK SHELTER UNDER A BYPASS OR BRIDGE. They create hazardous driving situations and provide no shelter from what the wind is blowing.
Scenario 4: Outdoors
- DO NOT PANIC (but why are you outside? How did this happen?!)
- Seek shelter indoors IMMEDIATELY, if no building is available lay in the lowest area possible, such as a ditch.
- Stay as far away as possible from trees and vehicles as they are easily uplifted and can blow right into you.
In all situations, the most important tool for survival is to remain calm and remember the tips provided to keep yourself and your family safe from harm. SERVPRO of Rock County and its dedicated team of professionals are here to help you get back on your feet after disaster strikes and to provide you superior care in the worst of times.