Last Updated on April 19, 2017

A tornado can be terrifying and dangerous for the most prepared adult; imagine how it must be for a child.  Most people aren’t prepared for natural disasters, but it doesn’t take much effort to prepare, and preparation makes a world of difference. When a crisis is upon us, we don’t know where to turn and wonder how we could have prepared more. Tornados are extremely dangerous and should be taken seriously. It is vitally important that you prepare by educating your children and yourself to minimize the likelihood of injury if a tornado strikes.


Warning VS Watch

Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? A watch is issued when conditions are ideal for a lovely tornado. When this is in effect, go over your tornado preparedness plan and ensure everyone is on the same page if disaster strikes. If conditions worsen, seek shelter. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been spotted. Though it may be tempting to try to get outside and sneak a peek, doing so could put you and your family at great risk. Seek shelter right away.


Preparedness Kit

Having a natural disaster kit is of utmost importance. Most homes do not have an emergency preparedness kit. If you don’t have one and live in an area prone to natural disasters, get on this right now. Some things to include: flashlights, a 3-day supply of water, batteries, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, blankets, a radio, and something to pass the time, such as a game or toy. Having something to keep your child occupied can make a world of difference in how they are able to handle a disaster.  Even go as far wrapping a toy as a present and putting it in the kit. Try to make the experience as fun as possible for your kids.  This will also help you keep calm.  You can also include clean clothes, lamps, work gloves, tools and other things as well.




Solid Building

If you live where tornadoes common, then ensure your house can withstand the storm. Your home should meet or exceed current building codes for high-wind regions so it has a better chance of weathering the storm. Inspect your home, paying close attention doors, roofs, windows. Use mulch in your garden instead of gravel or rocks and keep trees trimmed short. These simple steps can prevent massive damage.  Also ensure nothing is on your lawn that can be picked up by the wind and become a dangerous projectile.


Take Shelter

Even if you feel your house could stand up to the tornado, seek shelter in your basement.  Pick a room that has no windows. Among the safest places in a home are under a set of stairs, in a bathtub or shower, and under doorframes. Find the safest place in your basement and tell your children to go there immediately if there is a tornado warning in your area.


Staying Safe

The most important thing to remember is to keep calm. You aren’t any good to your children if you are running around like a chicken with no head. During any time of crisis, children look to adults for cues and reassurance.  You will think more clearly if you are calm and can help others keep their cool. Keep windows and doors closed. If you are in a manufactured home, leave. They can easily overturn in severe storms due to the light framework.  Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and proper clothing that will protect you from debris, broken glass and harsh winds. Avoid any type of gas or oil lamp and candles..

No matter how prepared you think you are for a tornado, you’ll probably wish you had prepared even more when it happens. To strengthen your preparedness, practice drills just like you would for a fire every tornado season. Ensure you have an out-of-state family contact who can help shepherd your family if you are separated. Start preparing now and keep your kids safe.