Severe Weather Safety Tips

Tornado Safety

Colorado is ranked ninth in the nation as far as tornado occurrences every year. Most tornadoes occur in June, followed by July and May. The highest threat is along the heavily populated Front Range and foothills corridors. Below are some suggestions for what to do before, during and after a tornado:

Before:

  • Have an emergency kit or checklist of emergency items to take with you.

  • Create a family communications plan in case your family is separated.

  • Identify a safe shelter location. A basement is best, followed by interior rooms on the lowest level of the building away from windows. Mobile homes are often unsafe in a tornado – identify a neighbor's house or public shelter where you can go if a tornado warning is issued.

  • Get a NOAA Weather Radio to receive alerts about impending severe weather.

  • Confirm the stipulations of your insurance coverage, such as flood insurance, which is separate from your homeowner’s policy.

  • Document (photograph or make a list) of the contents in your home in case you need to file a claim.

  • Store copies of your important documents in a location outside your home, such as a bank safe deposit box.

During:

  • Go to your pre-identified safe shelter – there is no time to gather possessions.

  • If possible, crouch under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a table. Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

  • If you are outside and no shelter is available, get in a vehicle and drive to shelter if possible. Keep in mind that you won't be able to outrun a tornado.

  • If you must use a vehicle for shelter, keep your seatbelt on, cover your head and keep it below the window level.

  • Do not shelter under an overpass or bridge!

  • If no other shelter is available, lie in a low spot and cover your head, but be alert for any water filling the area.

After:

  • Avoid downed power lines and leaking gas lines – report them to your utility company.

  • Watch for broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects.

  • Avoid damaged buildings until they are declared safe by officials.

  • Notify your family that you are safe – phone lines may be down, so be prepared to send text messages.

  • Check property for damage and contact your insurance company to file a claim, if necessary.

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