You might be emotionally unstable or traumatized after being put in the direct path of tornadic activity. Therefore, it is best if you stay as calm as possible. Our public insurance claims adjuster in Polk County offers the following safety and recovery tips for tornado recovery.
After a tornado occurs, the health and safety of your family are a top priority. Check for any injuries and apply first aid where possible. Call emergency services if you need immediate medical assistance. If you are trained in CPR, and someone stops breathing, administer rescue protocols until help arrives on the scene. In addition, if someone is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound to help stop the bleeding—clean open wounds with water and soap before applying antibiotic ointments. Contact a doctor to determine further treatment or follow-up about an injury. Check in with your neighbors to ensure they do not require emergency medical care. It can also be helpful to listen to local alert systems or cell-phone emergency alerts for further instructions.
Cover your mouth with a mask or cloth to avoid breathing in the dust if you are trapped. Consider banging on walls or pipes, sending a text for help, or using a whistle to let others know you need assistance instead of shouting. Stay away from broken utilities or fallen power lines to avoid the risk of electrocution. Please promptly report any broken gas lines or fallen power lines to address them and prevent further damage. Also, since electrical outages are common after a tornado, it is essential to save the battery on your phone to let people know your status and emergency use. Finally, try not to use candles in case of gas leaks.
Wait until structures and buildings are deemed safe by emergency responders before entering. Always be on the lookout for debris like nails, broken glass, and other sharp objects, wear clothing appropriate for the situation, like gloves, long sleeves, and boots or sturdy shoes, and inspect your apartment or house for any signs of structural problems. Be sure to follow all generator safety tips and power outage tips as needed. Take pictures to record any damages to your dwelling, outside and in.
Tornado damage is usually covered by renter's and homeowner's insurance policies. However, do not forget to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claims process and discover your next steps.
Adults and children can have unexpected feelings like a sudden fear of storms or nightmares due to their exposure to trauma. Anxiety and depression are not uncommon for people who have experienced a tornado firsthand. Thunder or rain can trigger anxiety and fear for many people. Reassurance from a loved one or family member can help sufferers cope with these feelings and begin the healing process. Reach out for professional help if your feelings become unmanageable. Sometimes it can be helpful to seek the advice of a counselor for dealing with the feelings you experience. Watch your pets closely for signs of unusual behavior or storm anxiety. If you notice behavior that is not typical, seek the advice of your veterinarian.
As you create a new normal, you can find great information on tornado cleanup from the American Red Cross. As you rebuild your life, you might consider adding a safe room to your property that is rated for wind resistance or impact.
These are just a few of the things you should do after a tornado hits. Contact us today for help from a public insurance claims adjuster in Polk County. We are here to help!