Tornadoes strike suddenly and with little to no warning. In an average year, about 1,000 tornadoes are reported nationwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). The Central and Midwest regions of the U.S. are major tornado hot spots.
With tornadoes, you are frequently dealing with a matter of minutes, or even seconds, to escape. Being properly prepared ahead of time can save your life.
To ensure the safety of your family and property, be sure to follow the three Ps of tornado preparation:
People (and Pets)
- Create an evacuation plan. Map the safest areas and routes through which to evacuate your home. Identify multiple emergency transit routes in all directions and a primary and a secondary meeting location. Know where your nearest evacuation shelters are located.
- Prepare an easily transportable emergency kit.
- Have a member of your family take a first aid course.
- Designate a friend or a family member in another state who can act as a communication traffic manager, and make sure that person has your updated contact list (children's schools, doctors' offices, employer, etc.).
- Know your pets' favorite hiding places so you can find them easily.
- Construct a storm-safe room in your home. Install permanent shutters, and prune trees and foliage.
- Secure large items. If you have time, bring items such as lawn chairs, furniture, toys, trash cans or lightweight yard structures into the house or garage.
- Turn off utilities. Know where your utility switches and water valves are located.
- Create an organized photo catalog of your belongings on your smartphone or iPad with the easy-to-use Liberty Mutual Home Gallery® app.
- Make copies of all important documents (passport, driver's license, birth certificate, financial documentation, auto registration, property deeds, will, etc.) and keep copies with your out-of-area contact.