How do I stay safe after a tornado?

Once a tornado has passed, the danger is not over. In fact, half of all tornado-related injuries occur following the storm. Before you leave your shelter, look outside and assess potential hazards. While inspecting the damage, cleaning up and living without power, take the following precautions:

  • Do not touch downed power lines or any objects that are in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to authorities.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves when cleaning up.
  • Look out for broken glass and exposed nails, a leading cause of tetanus. If you get a nail puncture, contact your doctor or local health department. You may need to get a tetanus shot.
  • Use extreme caution when entering damaged structures.
  • If your home is damaged, shut off the electrical power, natural gas and propane gas to avoid electrocution, fires, and explosions.
  • If you smell gas in your home, turn the main gas valve off and call the gas company. Open windows and doors. Do not smoke, light candles or use matches.
  • Whenever possible, use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns instead of candles.
  • Help avoid injuries when using chainsaws and power tools by learning how to operate them properly, and always following recommended safety procedures.
  • Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, garage or near open windows, doors, and vents. Carbon monoxide - a colorless, odorless gas - can build up and cause sudden illness and death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning or feel dizzy, light-headed or nauseous, seek immediate medical attention.

Show All Answers

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