Florida sees an average of 55 tornadoes yearly, making it the third state in the nation when it comes to tornado activity. While most tornadoes in the state happen between January and April, many tornadoes also occur during October and November. Since tornadoes can occur at this time of year and since tornado season will be upon us soon after the holidays, this is a good time of year to get ready. You may be able to help your family avoid weather-related injury in Hollywood or your Florida home if you:
1) Create an emergency preparedness kit.
Your kit should include everything you need during and after a tornado. This should include water, food, medication, pet and child-care supplies, bedding, cash, a first aid kit, and anything else you need to weather out not only the tornado but also the time after the tornado when services may be suspended. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a website with more information about getting an emergency kit ready.
2) Create an emergency preparedness plan.
Do you know what to do if a tornado heads your way? There are several things you will need to do in the event of a tornado:
- Stay calm.
- Get to a sturdy building. Staying in a car or mobile home is dangerous. You will need to leave your car or mobile home if a tornado is headed your way and get to safety. Determine now where the safest buildings are closest to your home and place of work.
- Head to the safest part of the building. If you are in a building with a basement or storm shelter, those are the safest areas. If your building does not have a basement, go to an interior room that does not have a window. Bathrooms and even closets can provide shelter, for example.
- Stay safe during the storm. When the tornado reaches your destination and is over the building or nearby, crouch close the ground and cover your body and head with clothing, blankets, pillows, or a mattress. Do what you can to prevent injury, especially head injuries.
- If you are in a public place when a tornado hits, follow any instructions provided by managers and others in charge. If no one is offering assistance or advice, go to an interior stairwell, closet, bathroom, or hallways, crouch low to the ground, and cover your head with your arms.
- Know what to avoid. Avoid elevators, windows, and any electrical wires. Avoid being outdoors, in a car, or mobile home when a tornado hits.
- If you do find yourself outdoors and cannot get to shelter, get away from cars, overhead power lines and trees if possible. Lie face down on the ground and try to prevent head injury by covering your head using your arms.
3) Know what to do after a tornado.
If anyone has sustained serious injuries, you will need to contact 911. You will also need to use caution due to the dangers that are common after a tornado. For example, there may be downed power lines or sharp debris on the ground that can cause injury. Since fuel may spill and gas lines leak during a tornado, it is also important to avoid using open flame until you can determine that an area is safe.
If you have been injured in weather-related situations, you may need legal advice if you are having trouble with an insurance company after the disaster or if you believe that some of your injuries were preventable and caused by negligence. You can always contact Flaxman Law Group if you would like to speak to a compassionate and professional legal team about your situation.