With the month of May upon us, Oklahoma and other Southern Plains states enter yet another tornado season. While most Oklahoma residents know tornado preparedness basics, too many of us fall into years-long complacency that, when confronted with an actual storm, can mean a lack of planning and responsiveness. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, we’ve seen too many clients and neighbors hurt during tornadoes and are happy to provide a quick review of what you and your family can do to best prepare for this season’s storms.
TAKE PICTURES & VIDEO OF YOUR HOME
The other tips on this list all address the safety of you and your family — and this should always be a top priority. However, an often overlooked aspect of tornado preparation is preparing for an insurance claim. One of the easiest things you can do to prepare is to simply take your camera or smartphone, record video, and take pictures of everything inside your home. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll remember everything!
DESIGNATE A SAFE ROOM
A tornado-safe room in your house should ideally be an underground room with no windows. If there are windows, they should be reinforced. If you do not have a basement or storm cellar, an interior room on the first floor is your safest option. This room should be stocked with an emergency kit that contains food, water, and other supplies. You can learn more about building an emergency kit here and more about reinforcing rooms here.
CREATE A FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
It’s important that everyone in your household understands what to do in case of a tornado. This means not only having awareness and access to the safe room, but also an understanding of local emergency warnings and how to communicate to family members when separated. Tornadoes can hit during work and school hours, during errands and sleepovers—and it’s important that your family knows how to coordinate safety precautions and how to let each other know that they are safe. Learn more about family communications plans here.
WATCH FOR WARNING SIGNS
It’s still hard to predict when tornadoes will happen, but meteorologists and tornado-stricken communities have recognized the signs. If you see any of the following atmospheric conditions develop, it may be time to take shelter:
- Large hail
- Roaring sounds
- Dark, greenish clouds
- Clouds of debris
- Cloud lowering associated with thunderstorms
If you suspect that there is a threat of a tornado, you can consult NOAA Weather Radio. You can find weather updates here, along with instructions and other information important to your community’s safety. The American Red Cross distributes a radio for these emergency purposes that can be ideal for many families’ safe house emergency kits.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a storm, then you may have to fight to get the coverage you deserve from your insurance provider. The dedicated Tulsa personal injury attorneys at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC have recovered more than $200 million on behalf of the injured, wronged, and bereaved, and are ready to hear your story during this trying time.
Start exploring your options today. Call us at 918-492-7674 now.