Surviving a Tornado: How To Prepare Yourself and Your Family

Posted on Posted in Blog, Dad, Mom

No one wants to think about having to survive a tornado. But as parents, we should be prepared for everything!

If you have experienced a tornado, you can relate to how the experience can be frustrating both physically and emotionally. Besides your home being brought down, your life and the lives of your family members are put in danger. Fortunately, there is something you can do to be proactive and prepared. If you reside in an area that is prone to tornadoes and you’re looking for ways to prepare your family, here is a list of things you should know.

What To Do Before The Storm

Be prepared at all times; A tornado can strike at any time of the year, with or without warning, which is why you should be prepared at all times. Make sure your family knows your plan of action if any kind of warning is issued by the local authorities. Some of the things you need to consider include discussing the best places to take shelter, steps to be taken during and after the storm and also putting together a safety kit. Also, coordinate a time with your family members and neighbors to practice periodic tornado drills. This helps ensure everyone feels organized and prepared in case a tornado strikes.

Reinforce your home; If you live an area that is at risk for tornados, consider having your safe room reinforced. Look for a spot in the lowest part of your home and have the interior reinforced in accordance with the standard set by the local authorities. Have the contractor take a look at your house’s frame building so they can add more anchors, straps and clips that will provide more stability to your home. If you have large trees growing close to your home, have them cut, as they can pose more danger to you, your home and other structures in the area. Make sure that you have a system for self-sustainability, which includes a thorough collection of canned foods with long shelf-life and survival water filters to stay hydrated.

Watch the news and heed the advice from the local authorities. News outlets and local authorities are the best sources for tornado warnings. Immediately after a tornado warning is issued, gather emergency supplies including clean water, food, batteries, medications, roadmaps and flashlights. Watch for tornado danger signs; if you wake up and notice dark and often greenish clouds or wall cloud, be prepared.

Lastly, as a precautionary measure, Store important information in your safe room or safety deposit box at your local bank. Important information could include medical information, loan or mortgage papers, insurance policy, important telephone numbers and your social security cards among others.

What to Do During The Storm

During the storm, focus on staying safe and helping your family and pets stay safe as well.

Here are some things you can do.

  1.  Try to locate one of the safest places in your home or on your property. The safest spot can be an underground shelter, safe room or basement. If you don’t have such places in your home, go to a windowless room, which will probably be on the lowest level of your house. Move to the center and stay away from the corners as they can easily attract debris.
  2. If you are at work or at school, move to a hallway or basement. Avoid areas with wide roofs like cafeterias, auditoriums or shopping malls. Get under a piece of furniture and use both hands to cover your head and neck.
  3. If you are outdoors, get inside a building as quickly as possible. If there is no shelter nearby, look for a ditch in a low-lying area and lie there. While there, be on the lookout for flood waters that can fill such areas. Avoid mobile homes; they provide almost no protection from a storm.
  4. If you are on the road driving, never try to drive faster than a tornado. A tornado can change its direction quickly and your car can be lifted and tossed. Get out of your car and find shelter in a nearby building. If you don’t have enough time to get indoors, get out of the car and find a low-lying ditch away from your car and lie in there.

Recovering After The Storm

It’s the time after the storm that is the most difficult. Apart from having to deal with physical damages caused by the storm, healing emotionally is something to think about. If you find yourself in this situation, check out these resources to recovering from disaster.

Before returning to your home, listen to news reports and get as much information about your neighborhood as you can. Watch for power lines, debris and heed the advice of local authorities. Also, check for injuries. If you are trained in first aid, be prepared to help those who are injured.

If your home is damaged, stay out of it. If it is not damaged but you can smell gas, get everyone out and open all the windows. Clean up spilled bleaches, gasoline or medication or any other flammable that is a potential fire hazard.


Last but not least, if you have an insurance policy, follow the necessary steps to contact your service provider and file a claim. If you don’t have any coverage, it is high time you consider one as this will help protect you from some of the biggest potential financial losses you could go.

Experiencing a tornado can be one of the most stressful things to go through. Sadly, it can not be stopped from happening. The good news is, you can prepare yourself and keep your family safe during and after the storm.

No one wants to think about surviving a tornado. But as parents, we should be prepared for everything! Be proactive and prepared.

About the Author

Daryl Landry is the Leader at He and the AB Team discover innovative ways to push the envelope on outdoor survival, provide in-depth gear reviews and test the limits of human capability, all while documenting experiences on the blog. To follow along, feel free to give a visit and engage with other audience members.

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