03/10/2021

How to Prepare for a Tornado

As Oklahomans, we live in tornado alley, and as storm season approaches, it’s critical to know how to prepare. Tornadoes can occur suddenly and they can be destructive, so knowing how to prepare and what to do can help you and your loved ones stay safe. As tornado season begins, consider these ways when creating your safety-preparedness plan.

Set and Inform Your Plan

To ensure you and your family are safe, you can create a “what to do if a tornado hits” plan. This plan could include where to take shelter, who is responsible for gathering food and supplies, where to locate the radio and batteries and more. If you’re unsure about the security of your home, you may consider adding a storm shelter. Having your household on the same page can help ensure you react in a timely manner. 

Carl looking at tornado damage done on his farm

Create a Checklist and Store Necessities 

Creating a checklist and storing some basic items can help you stay on track and not forget any critical items. Be sure to include: 

  • Batteries
  • Weather radio
  • Cell phone charger
  • Flashlight
  • Food
  • A fun game or coloring pages to keep the little ones or even yourself entertained

Know the Warning Signs

Luckily, we have the technology and the National Weather Service to warn us if a tornado is developing and headed our way. However, it is always good to know the warning signs if there is a chance of a tornado. 

  • Hail or heavy rain followed by fast and intense winds or followed by eerie quiet and calm 
  • Loud rumbling that could sound like thunder, but is continuous. Some describe it as sounding like a freight train
  • If the sky begins to look dark and green
  • A cloud of debris, even if it doesn’t resemble a funnel
  • A funnel-shaped cloud

“I stepped outside before the tornado actually got there, and I could hear it coming but couldn’t tell how far away it was. Well, of course it went right through, real fast. After it settled down, I peeped outside the window and walked outside, and saw the cars were crushed,” said Billy Gibson, one of our policyholders. Watch how OKFB helped Billy after a tornado hit his home.

Learn the Weather Terms

Two notable terms to know are tornado watch and tornado warning. A tornado watch signifies that the current weather is capable of producing a tornado. While a tornado warning signifies that one has been sighted or seen on a radar. If a tornado warning is issued, you are highly advised to seek shelter. Understanding this difference can help you know what to do. 

As you create plans and checklists, remember to check-in with your OKFB agent to ensure your home and vehicles are protected under your Home Insurance and Auto Insurance policies. You focus on staying safe and prepared, and we’ll worry about protecting your assets. 

dark tornado clouds looming over a field