Tornado Season: Are You Ready?

Dated: May 15 2024

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Tornado Safety, provided by the National Weather Service and shared by Paul Sidwell, Kansas City Real Estate AgentTornado Preparedness: Protecting Your Home and Family

Tip: Download and print a free copy of our Tornado Readiness Checklist at this link:

screenshot of tornado readiness checklist, provided by Paul Sidwell, Kansas City Real Estate Agent(click the image to download)

As a real estate professional, ensuring the safety and well-being of my clients is a top priority. Tornadoes are one of nature's most violent storms, capable of causing widespread devastation in a matter of minutes. Being prepared can make all the difference in protecting your home and loved ones. Here’s a comprehensive guide to tornado preparedness.

Understanding Tornadoes

Tornadoes can strike with little warning, making it crucial to have a plan in place. These powerful storms are most common in "Tornado Alley" – a region that includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. However, tornadoes can and do occur in many other parts of the country.

Before a Tornado: Preparation is Key

1. **Create a Plan:** The first step is to have a family emergency plan. Identify a safe room or storm shelter in your home where everyone can gather. This should be a small, windowless room on the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or an interior hallway. Make sure all family members know the plan and practice tornado drills regularly.

2. **Assemble an Emergency Kit:** Your emergency kit should include essentials such as water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries, fully charged power banks and a spare phone charger cable, a first aid kit, and important documents. Keep this kit in your designated safe room.

3. **Stay Informed:** Weather conditions can change rapidly, so it’s important to stay informed. Keep a battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio on hand and sign up for weather alerts on your phone. This ensures you receive timely warnings, even if you lose power.

4. **Secure Your Home:** Take steps to secure your home by removing dead or damaged trees and branches, securing outdoor furniture and other items that could become projectiles, and reinforcing garage doors and windows.

5. **Review Your Insurance:** Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate to cover tornado damage. Document your belongings with photos or videos to make the claims process easier in the event of a disaster.

During a Tornado: Take Immediate Action

When a tornado warning is issued, you may have only minutes to react. Here’s what to do:

1. **Seek Shelter:** Immediately go to your pre-designated safe room or storm shelter. If no shelter is available, find a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of your home.

2. **Cover Yourself:** Protect yourself from flying debris by using mattresses, sleeping bags, or heavy blankets. Wearing sturdy shoes can also help protect your feet from broken glass and other debris.

3. **Stay Informed:** Continue to listen to weather updates and follow the instructions of local authorities. Do not leave your shelter until it is safe to do so.

After a Tornado: Safety and Recovery

Once the tornado has passed, it’s important to prioritize safety and begin the recovery process:

1. **Safety First:** Check yourself and your family for injuries and seek medical attention if needed. Avoid downed power lines and flooded areas.

2. **Assess Damage:** Carefully inspect your home for structural damage. Take photos or videos of any damage for insurance purposes.

3. **Contact Authorities:** Report any downed power lines or gas leaks to local authorities. Seek assistance from local emergency services if needed.

4. **Reach Out:** Notify your insurance company to start the claims process and contact family and friends to let them know you are safe.

Tornadoes can be terrifying, but being prepared can help you weather the storm safely. By creating a plan, staying informed, and taking immediate action when a tornado strikes, you can protect your home and loved ones. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or for assistance with your real estate needs. Stay safe!

Download and print a free copy of our Tornado Readiness Checklist at this link:

Find more information about tornado safety at the National Weather Service website:

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Paul Sidwell

Paul is a Real Estate Agent in the Kansas City greater area serving the Liberty, Parkville, Platte City and Smithville areas (the "Northland" of KC). Paul has called Kansas City home for more than t....

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