Disaster Tip Sheet: Tornadoes

Disaster Tip Sheet: Tornadoes

Preparing Your Health for Tornadoes

  • If you live in a tornado-prone region (like the Midwest and the Southeast), sign up for tornado warning systems and make sure you know how the tornado siren sounds
    • You can follow Weather.gov/Alerts for alerts 
    • Understand the warning signs and sounds of a tornado
    • Know the difference between a tornado watch and a warning
    • Tornado watch: This means current weather conditions could lead to a tornado – this is the time to head to a safe location to avoid the storm 
    • Tornado warning: This means a tornado has been sighted – this is the time to seek shelter immediately
  • Practice using a safe shelter or alternative location
    • Keep a list of your local healthcare facilities, with addresses, phone numbers, and emails/websites
    • Consider these facilities:
    • Hospitals/ERs
    • Pharmacies
    • Urgent care clinics
  • Keep a list of helpful hotlines
    • Healthcare Ready: 1-866-247-2694
    • FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
    • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746)
    • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER): 1-866-901-3773
    • Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
    • American Diabetes Association: 1-800-342-2283
    • American Heart Association: 1-800-242-8721
    • American Association of People with Disabilities: 1-800-840-8844
    • American Stroke Association: 1-888-478-7653
  • Make sure you know your prescription medication and health information – use Rx on the Run to keep a list of your prescriptions
    • Rx on the Run is a personalized wallet-sized card that lists your prescriptions with the latest dosage and instructions
    • Visit HealthcareReady.org/Rx-on-the-Run to fill yours out!

Protecting Your Health During a Tornado

  • Take shelter in a safe room on the lowest level without windows
    • If you are not inside during a tornado, cover your head and neck with your arms, and use a coat or blanket to protect your body 

Recovering After a Tornado

  • Avoid breathing in harmful dust by covering your mouth 
  • Check your home for damages, including pipe leaks and gas leaks 
  • Use caution when cleaning up debris and don’t overexert yourselfAlways wear gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, and beware of glass, nails, and other sharp objects  
  • If you are cut or scraped, clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly and keep it covered, especially if you have cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised
  • Contact family and friends to let them know you are safe
    • Use text messages instead of phone calls to avoid breathing in dust and because phone lines might be down
    • Check in on your loved ones that may need support
  • If there is a disaster declaration, you can also try to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance for financial support by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

Download our Tornado Tip Sheet here:

This Tip Sheet was created thanks to the generous support of Eli Lilly



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