Tornadoes: Being Prepared- Continued
Storing Important Documents
Store the following documents in a fire- and water-proof safe:
- Birth certificates
- Ownership certificates (autos, boats, etc.)
- Social security cards
- Insurance policies
- Household inventory
- List of contents of household; include serial numbers, if applicable
- Photographs or videotape of contents of every room
- Photographs of items of high values, such as jewelry, paintings, collection items
First Aid Supplies
|First Aid Kit|
Store your first aid supplies in a tool box or fishing tackle box so they will be easy to carry and be protected from water. Inspect your kit regularly and keep it freshly stocked.
Drugs and Medications
NOTE: Important medical information and most prescriptions can be stored in the refrigerator, which provides excellent protection from fires.
Other First Aid Supplies
Reducing Household Hazards
|Home Inspection Checklist|
The following suggestions will reduce the risk for injury during or after a tornado. No amount of preparation will eliminate every risk.
Inspect your home for possible hazards, including the following:
Securing Your Home's Structure
No home is completely safe in a tornado. However, attention to construction details can reduce damage and provide better protection for you and your family if a tornado should strike your house. If an inspection using the "Home Inspection Checklist" reveals a possible hazard in the way your home is constructed, contact your local city or county building inspectors for more information about structural safety. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do any needed work for you.
Walls and Roof Rafters
Strengthen the areas of connection between the wall studs and roof rafters with hurricane clips as shown in the above graphic.
Shutting Off Utilities
After a tornado, DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or appliances, or operate light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas and cause an explosion.
If you smell the odor of gas or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shut-off valve located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the "off" position.
After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion.
Water may be turned off at either of two locations:
At the main meter, which controls the water flow to the entire property.
At the water main leading into the home. If you may need an emergency source of fresh water, it is better to shut off your water here, because it will conserve the water in your water heater.
- Attach a valve wrench to the water line. (This tool can be purchased at most hardware stores.)
- Label the water mains for quick identification.
Arranging and Securing Household Items
- Arrange furniture so that chairs and beds are away from windows, mirrors, and picture frames.
- Place heavy or large items on lower shelves.
- Secure your large appliances, especially your water heater, with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.
- Identify top-heavy, free-standing furniture, such as bookcases and china cabinets, that could topple over.
- Secure your furniture by using one of two methods.
"L" brackets, corner brackets, or aluminum molding, to attach tall or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
Eyebolts, to secure items located a short distance from the wall.
- Install sliding bolts or childproof latches on all cabinet doors.
- Store all hazardous materials such as poisons and solvents--
- in a sturdy, latched or locked cabinet
- in a well-ventilated area
- away from emergency food or water supplies