Tornado Safety Tips for Apartments

a dark tornado zooming across a fieldTornado Season is Underway

Spring and summer often bring about severe thunderstorms, which can often lead to tornadoes. Tornadoes can occur without warning and cause large amounts of damage to apartments and homes. At their worst, tornadoes can reach speeds of more than 300 mph. People who reside in apartments should have a storm plan laid out to avoid injury or death, reports the National Weather Service.

Tornado Safety: Your Apartment’s Best Location

Because tornadoes are very quick and usually come without much notice, having your plan in place will protect you and the items in your apartment. First and foremost, once you hear that there is a possible tornado near your apartment, or that the conditions are right for a tornado, move to shelter immediately.

If you live in an apartment that is on an upper floor, get to the lowest level of the building that you can immediately. This could be an underground parking garage or a neighbor’s first floor apartment. If you live in a high-rise apartment building, you may not have enough time to get to a lower level, so picking a place in the hallway in the center of your building is the best idea. A closet, bathroom or interior hall without windows is the safest spot in your apartment during a tornado.

Also, ask your apartment leasing manager if there are any storm shelters in your apartment’s complex or building.

Tornado Safety: Other Apartment Safety Tips

Once you have relocated to your safe place, lie down on the floor and cover yourself up with pillows, blankets and even mattresses for protection from falling objects and debris. If your apartment’s safe place has a heavy piece of furniture, such as a large table, get under that for extra protection. Wearing a bicycle or similar helmet will help protect your head from injuries caused by flying debris.

It is also a great idea to keep an evacuation kit handy. Your apartment’s evacuation kit should include a portable radio, flashlight with extra batteries, credit card and cash, first aid kit, spare set of keys, personal identification and anything else of importance or of value to you. Having all of this together near your apartment’s safe place will save you time and worry during a tornado threat.

Tornado Safety: After the Tornado

If a tornado does come near your apartment, please use extreme caution when exiting your home. Watch out for fallen utility lines and tree limbs that may not have fallen yet. Make sure that everyone is alright and provide assistance to your neighbors that may need attention. Finally, remember to take pictures of damage to your apartment’s property for your insurance claim.