6 Must-Follow Tips Before a Tornado

  • Go to the lowest level of your house when you hear a tornado siren.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside if you don’t have a basement.
  • Have an emergency kit with medical supplies, flashlights, and noisemakers to signal first responders.

You know to do these things while life spins around you.

But what should you do in the calm before the storm?

Quite a few things, actually.

And while these preparation tips won’t necessarily save your life in the literal sense (although a couple might), they are guaranteed to minimize the aftermath.

TAKE IT INSIDE

We mean your grill. Porch table and chairs. Patio umbrellas. Anything and everything weighing more than a couple of pounds. It’s a chore, yes. Possibly even a heavy one at that.

But, it’s a few minutes of lifting and carrying. Or the risk of those items blowing across town. Or worse yet: having them smashed to smithereens against your siding.

DON’T BRANCH OUT

This tip is a bit of a two-for-one. We discussed in another post how some simple lawn maintenance can increase your home’s value. In this case, you’ll also save money in the long term.

By trimming overgrown and weak branches, you reduce the risk of them falling on power lines (water and electricity are a bad combination).  You’ll also minimize the chances those branches break through windows.

Not sure how to shut off your utilities? We covered that in a previous post.

Another thing you should do: Strengthen the roots by spreading mulch around them. When roots are weak, trees are more likely to topple or fall.

GRAB A LADDER

Since tornadoes are often part of “supercell” storms, rain – heavy rain – should be expected. And until there’s a bubble that can wrap around entire homes, we need to use the next best thing to keep water out: our hands and ladders.

By unclogging gutters and downspouts (and making sure our downspouts are angled as far away from the ground level as possible), we give sump pumps a breather – and keep our floors and ceilings drier.

BRING A BLANKET

The supercells mentioned earlier? Hail likes to tag along with them.

It’s common sense to park your car in a garage when it’s about to hail. But, what if you don’t have a garage?

Fasten a blanket over the hood, windshield, trunk, and every outside inch you can. The thicker the blanket, the better. True, cloth isn’t nearly the same type of covering. But it’s certainly better than nothing. And in this case, “better” could prevent serious damage.

TAKE SOME PICTURES

By now, you hopefully have a couple of ways to be safer during a natural disaster.

But if the worst happens, it is good to be prepared. Take pictures of every room of your house. Right now.

Take pictures of the art (or TV) hanging on your walls. Your bed. The inside of your closets. The stackable shelves with out-of-season clothes and records you can’t bear to throw away? Take pictures of those, too.

Because even if you take every precaution, you can’t stop Mother Nature. And even if she has her way, you’ll have a record of what life was like before. And filing a claim, piecing things back as best you can, will be that much easier.

SAVINGS ARE IN YOUR FORECAST

One thing that’s predictable is the discounts you can get with Madison Mutual.

From multi-line policies to safe driver discounts, we’ll make sure you’re covered affordably.

Talk with an agent to get as many policy deductions as possible.