Tornadoes usually come and go very quickly-in as little as a few minutes. The damage they leave in their wake depends on the location, population density and funnel size.
In the immediate aftermath of a tornado, it is important to quickly and calmly assess the situation.
First check for injuries, and do not attempt to move a seriously injured person unless he or she is in immediate physical danger. Once everyone's health and safety are accounted for, it is important to check your surroundings for potential dangers.
- Follow your evacuation plan as needed.
- Immediately clean spilled materials such as medicine or potentially harmful materials.
- Reserve mobile phone use for emergency calls only.
- Listen to the radio and TV for updates from local authorities.
- If the power is off, plan meals by first using foods that spoil quickly.
- Look out for shattered glass.
- Use outdoor charcoal grills for emergency cooking.
- Check gas, electric and water lines. If you smell gas or see a break in the line, shut off the main valve immediately.
- Do not operate electrical switches or appliances.
- Report all damages to your utility company.