Midwest Tornado -Tips to Prepare and Recover

Illinois and Indiana have been hit with multiple tornadoes today, affecting 53 million people, destroying countless homes and buildings, and causing three deaths. As captured in these incredible images, the tornadoes have had unbelievable impacts on these communities.

Although we cannot prevent a tornado, we can take steps to protect ourselves during the storm. With this, we have outlined some tips to stay safe during tornado, but also some guidelines about how to recover for those in the Midwest.

An example of the damage caused by the Midwest Tornado today (Photo by: AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky)
An example of the damage caused by the Midwest Tornado today (Photo by: AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky)

During a tornado

Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings pose the greatest danger for residents, and also cause the most structural damage. Because of this, ensure you:

  • Find a safe area
    • At home, head to the lowest floor (ideally, a basement) or a small centre room (i.e. closet or bathroom) with no windows. Protect yourself with items like mattresses or sleeping bag, or lie down on the ground and cover your head with your hands.
    • If you are in an office, go to the centre of the room and stay away from any glass.
    • If you are outside, do not hide under a bridge or an overpass as you will be vulnerable to flying debris and other items – head to a low, flat location
  • Move away from the expected tornado route if you have time. Ensure you know which direction the tornado is headed, and drive away at a 90 degree angle so you do not cross paths with the storm.
  • Avoid opening windows which can allow damaging winds and flying debris to enter the structure.
  • Follow local news and government announcements.

After a tornado:

  • Stay with your family and wait for emergency responders and/or first aid if anyone is injured
  • Avoid power lines in case they are still active
  • Check for structural damage to your home, as well as gas leaks and electrical hazards.
  • Listen to emergency responders or local officials for further instructions.
  • Keep a detailed inventory and photographs of any damaged property or goods to provide to your insurance provider.

We wish everyone in the Midwest the very best, and hope that you have the speediest recovery possible. If you have any questions about tornado preparedness or recovery, please ask us on Twitter @epactnetwork!

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