How to Survive a Tornado Taking Out Your Home

Before, we talked about being prepared for a tornado. Of course, many tornadoes actually do NOT touch down, or cause a lot of damage. No, really. Yes, there ARE those storms that can wipe out an entire town in a matter of minutes, but many do not cause that kind of damage.

Nevertheless, you want to be prepared for a tornado to wipe out your house/town. WHY? Well, because if it does and you are ready, then it’s just a hard thing to recover from. You are more easily available to help those around you, and your own recovery time seems to be less.

So, how to be prepared for a tornado to wipe out your entire house/yard/life? Here are some things that some friends of mine (who have dealt with this) wish they knew back before that happened to them and the extra items in their emergency box they have stored in their storm shelter.

How to be prepared if you lose your home in a tornado or hurricane. Plan NOW and stay safe! The Homesteading Hippy

A tornado can happen at any time, and grow in strength quickly

The “F scale” or “Fujita scale” of a tornado is based on the ground-swirl patterns (cycloidal marks), radar tracking, eyewitness testimonies, media reports and damage imagery, as well as photogrammetry or videogrammetry if motion picture recording is available. {source}

This can change rapidly, and an F1 can go quickly to an F3 or even an F4 in minutes. When the warnings are issued, and the sirens are blaring, take it seriously! SEEK SHELTER—NOW!! Don’t be like some people, who go outside, take pictures, or try and watch the storm…it’s not worth the risk!

Have a bug out bag ready

This will include a change (or two) of clothing, bottled water, dried foods like fruits, granola bars, beef sticks, etc. In this bag, you will want to have a good pair of walking shoes and an extra pair of thick socks just in case you no longer have a vehicle. Your bug out items may also need to include $100 (minimum) of cash in different denominations, including a roll of quarters.

You will want to be able to pay for a hotel room (if at all possible to stay in one) and/or a meal somewhere. If your entire town is gone, you will need some cash to help you get to the next town. You won’t be able to rely on debit/credit cards because electricity may be out, and the readers with them. Don’t rely on your insurance to reimburse you right away!

Have a tent or other camping equipment ready

Again, this is for basic shelter. If your home is gone, you will need a place to sleep until you can rebuild. Camping on your own property is usually an option, and can help you with recovery and cleanup times since you aren’t traveling back and forth.

Have at least one pair of gloves, a shovel, and a saw in your emergency kit.

You’ll need this to help cut down tree branches, cleaning up broken glass and other debris. This is NOT the time to be getting all cut up, trust me! Having a pair of gloves for each member of the family goes a long way toward cleanup being easier. “Many hands makes light work”.

Have some baby wipes in your kit

This is for those out of power times. For us, no power means no water. And, during a crisis like this, being able to at least wipe off your face, feet and arms can make all the difference in your outlook on the situation. A toothbrush and some toothpaste can also make you feel more human as well.

Have a well stocked first aid kit

This includes band-aids, gauze and tape, an extra blanket and pillow, tourniquets, antibacterial ointment, and pain reliever of choice (tylenol, motrin, or Essential Oils). All these will help you with basic first aid of someone with minor injuries. Learning how to treat shock victims, handling someone with broken bones, sprains, or other injuries is ALWAYS a good thing, too. Classes are often available at hospitals, or clinics on basic first aid like that.

A tornado taking out your house and town can be absolutely devastating, and heartbreaking. All your memories, your lives, your possessions GONE in a matter of minutes. BUT, the most important thing is that you are alive, your family is safe, and you can go on. Having that happen IS a rarity, but being prepared before will make that a bit easier to handle.

How do you handle storms? Have you lost your home before to a tornado or hurricane? What other advice would you give?

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7 thoughts on “How to Survive a Tornado Taking Out Your Home”

  1. Great post! We had a tornado touch down in our back yard year before last; luckily there wasn’t any damage. I can’t say the same for our town – a lot of places were torn apart and a lot of homes were lost. I’m stumbling this so other people know how to be prepared, because you never know!

  2. Excellent post. There are so many tornadoes lately and no matter where you are located you don’t seem to be safe. I was in Maine and hit by a tornado – so go figure.

  3. I hate to think about things like this, but it is good that you wrote it. I think we all feel safe and don’t get prepared. We had a flood in our basement and many things were ruined. I am more prepared now and wish I would have known then what I know now. Great post and I will get prepared.

  4. Jeanette Wood

    This is a great post! We have storms today and tornados have been hitting the last few days around us. Thank you for sharing these tips!

  5. Merissa @ Little House Living

    These are good tips to think about and work on. I’m just working on building our tornado hide out area this summer so I need to add these things to that place so we are ready!

  6. Great tips! We don’t have to worry too much about tornadoes where I live but I we did where I grew up. Will pass this along to my family back east!

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