Dealing with the Aftermath of a Tornado
Tend to the Injured
The first thing you should do in the wake of a tornado is address any injuries. If you know of someone that injured call 911 and then tend to them immediately. It is very likely that medical assistance may not be available immediately, so you may need to address in injuries yourself. However do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If someone is bleeding, apply direct pressure to wound, and if someone has stopped breathing begin CPR if you are trained to do so. If someone is trapped and you are unable to free them, seek assistance. In this instance having a flare gun to attract attention could be beneficial.
It is important to note that some studies indicate that 50% of tornado related injuries occur during rescue efforts and clean up. A good portion of these injuries are suffered as the result of stepping on nails. If possible wear protective boots, and avoid causing injury to yourself while helping others. Here are some other safety precautions to consider:
- Wear boots, long sleeves, and gloves when handling or walking on debris
- Watch out for exposed nails and broken glass
- Avoid all exposed power lines and notify the police and utility company
- Use battery powered lights rather than candles if possible
- Be careful when entering any damaged structure
It is possible that your home has suffered structural damage, electrical damage and gas-leaks due to the tornado. It is important to perform and analysis of the situation and avoid using your appliance until they have completely inspected (preferably by a county inspector). It is a good idea to turn off the main gas and water lines if possible. Clean up any flammable liquids or potentially hazardous materials. If your structure is no longer sound, you should vacate the premises and seek alternative shelter.
Comfort the Scared
Being a victim of a tornado can be a traumatic experience and cause anxiety for anyone, especially children. Once everyone is safe and emergencies have been handled make sure the comfort your family, friends and neighbors to help get them through this stressful time.