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TRICOR Tornado Safety


  • Emergency . . . 911
  • National Poison Control Hotline . . . (800) 222-1222

For more information regarding safety at work or at home, contact our Safety Consultants. 1-877-468-7426

The best defense is a great offense!

Be prepared for a tornado, understand tornado watches and warnings, and know what to do during and after a tornado. You may download important Tornado Safety information from TRICOR. PDF

Before the Storm

Tornado Safety
  • Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors.
  • Have frequent drills with children to develop a routine.
  • Know the county in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
  • Have a NOAA weather radio with a warning alarm and battery back-up to receive warnings.
  • Listen to radio and television for information.
  • If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latestforecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is immanent.
  • Use the buddy system to make sure no one is left behind.
  • Put pets in pet carriers if possible to both control and help protect them.

Prepare a Home Tornado Plan

Tornado Safety
  • Pick a place where family members should gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn off natural gas lines.

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by the county.

If a Tornado WATCH is issued:

  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

If a Tornado WARNING is issued:

  • If you are inside, go to a safe place to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside or in a mobile home, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building.
  • If you are in a car, get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building, ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

During a Tornado

If at home during a tornado:

  • Go at once to the basement, storm cellar or the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a small inner room without a window, such as a bathroom or a closet.
  • Get away from windows.
  • Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck

If at work or school:

  • Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
  • Avoid wide rooms such as auditoriums, cafeterias or large hallways.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench, heavy table or desk.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

If outdoors:

  • If possible, get inside a building.
  • If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If in a car or truck: Never try to out drive a tornado. Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building, ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

After a Tornado

Gas Leaks

Tornado Safety

If you smell the putrid odor of leaking gas, leave your home immediately and call the gas company. Lanterns, torches, electrical sparks and cigarettes could cause an explosive fire if there is a leak. Do not turn on any light switches.

Electric Power

Utility lines may be damaged, never approach a damaged line or pole as you could be electrocuted. Do not walk on a wet floor in your home if your home has sustained damage. Turn off the current to the main fuse box or to your circuit breaker panel if this can be done safely.

Structural Damage

Watch for falling debris and the possibility of collapse.

Water & Sewer Line Damage

If water pipes are damaged, do not use water from the tap; it may be contaminated. Damaged sewer systems should be serviced as soon as possible because they are a health hazard.

Protect Documents

Store the following documents in a fire and waterproof safe:

  • Birth certificates
  • Ownership certificates (autos, boats, etc.)
  • Social security cards
  • Insurance policies
  • Will
  • Household inventory include serial numbers, if applicable
  • Photographs or videotape of contents of every room
  • Photographs of high value items, such as jewelry, paintings, collectibles

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