Tornadoes are very quick and usually come without much notice, having your plan in place will protect you and the items in your apartment. First and foremost, once you hear that there is a possible tornado near your apartment, or that the conditions are right for a tornado, head to shelter immediately.
If you live in an apartment that is on an upper floor, get to the lowest possible level of the building immediately. This could be an underground parking garage, a community room, or a neighbor’s first floor apartment. If you live in a high-rise apartment building, you may not have enough time to get to a lower level, so picking a place in the hallway in the center of your building is the best idea. If you are in your apartment during a tornado, a closet, bathroom or interior hall without windows is the safest spot to be.
Also ask your apartment leasing manager if there are any storm shelters in your apartment community.
Tornado Safety: Other Apartment Safety Tips
Once you have relocated to a safe place, lie down on the floor and cover yourself up with pillows, blankets and even mattresses for protection from falling objects and debris. If your apartment’s safe place has a heavy piece of furniture, such as a large table, get under that for extra protection. Wearing a bike helmet or other helmet will help protect your head from injuries caused by flying debris.
It is also a great idea to keep an evacuation kit handy. This kit should include a portable radio, flashlight with extra batteries, credit card and cash, first aid kit, spare set of keys, personal identification and anything else of importance or value to you. Having all of this together near your apartment safe place or near your door will save you time and worry during a tornado threat.
Tornado Safety: After the Tornado
If a tornado does come near your apartment, please use extreme caution when exiting your home. Watch out for fallen utility lines and tree limbs that may not have fallen yet. Make sure that everyone is alright and provide assistance to your neighbors that may need attention. Finally, remember to take pictures of your property damage for an insurance claim, if necessary.