Tornado Safety Tips

If you are a AAA policy holder and need to speak with a claims agent, please call 1-866-222-2378.

Did you know a tornado can reach winds of up to 300 miles per hour? As frightening as this is, a tornado can destroy a neighborhood or town in just a matter of seconds, causing damage anywhere up to 50 miles away. However, as no one can ever outrun a tornado, the best thing one can do is try and prepare for it. Since tornadoes can strike without warning, it’s best to be prepared at all times, especially if you live in highly prone areas. Peak tornado season tends to be from March through May in southern states and from late spring to early summer in northern states.

Tornado shelter

As tornadoes cannot be avoided, it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time. Here are some helpful tips on what you can do to best prepare yourself:

  • Know evacuation routes, shelter locations, and the safest and strongest rooms in your home.
  • Make a plan to meet family members in the event you get separated.
  • If you have time, reinforce windows with plywood or storm shutters.
  • Bring your car, garbage cans, lawn chairs, umbrellas (anything that isn’t anchored down) in from outside; tie down and secure whatever you can.
  • If you’re told to evacuate, pack what you need and get on the road. If a tornado is imminent, get to a storm shelter immediately. Storms can come in an instant, so don’t delay.
During a tornado

The following are some helpful tips that you can do to help protect yourself and your family during a tornado:

  • If you have a radio handy, stay up to date on the latest storm news so you know when it’s safe to come out of your home or shelter.
  • Be sure to keep your head down and face away from the wind, stay away from windows, and keep yourself as well insulated from the storm as possible.
  • Whether you’re in a storm shelter, in your basement, a closet, or any other safety area, try to remain in one place until it’s safe to come out.
  • If you’re in an open area, lie flat in a ditch and try to avoid flying debris; stay away from bridges and overpasses.
Tornado damage

Immediately after a tornado hits, it is important to remain calm and adhere to instructions from officials. The following are some things to keep in mind during the aftermath:

  • A storm can leave a lot of debris, including broken glass, nails, splinters, and possibly power lines, so exercise caution both inside and outside.
  • Depending on the severity of the storm, supplies may be limited, so be conscientious about food and water consumption and try to ration supplies.
  • Following the storm, make a detailed list of any damage and take pictures, if possible. As soon as you can, you should contact your Insurance agent to get the claims process started while everything is fresh in your mind.
  • In the event that any doors or windows have been damaged during the storm, board them up and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage until they can be permanently fixed.

If you are a AAA policy holder and need to speak with a claims agent, please call 1-866-222-2378.