This past weekend there was a tornado in Worcester. The previous tornado was over 60 years ago in 1953 and was a category F4. Even though Sunday night’s tornado was only a category F0, there was still damage and power outages. Brushing up on what to do before, during and after a storm to keep safe is always a good idea.
Preparation is the best way to be ready for a dangerous storm. Have a few flashlights with extra batteries, your cell phone with the charger, a battery powered radio. Keep all of your personal documents in a fire proof box in a readily accessible area. Make sure you have plenty of non-perishable food items, such as canned food, bread, peanut butter, crackers and lots of water. The American Red Cross suggests having 1 gallon of water per person per day. A first aid kit is essential. Find out exactly what to put in a first aid kit.
During a storm make sure to unplug sensitive electrical items such as computers and TV and microwaves (if these are possible to do easily). By disconnecting them you will prevent a power surge when the power comes back on, if you have lost power during the storm and do not have surge protectors. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. If you lose power your food will stay colder for a longer period of time, if they are not opened. If the winds are very strong stay away from windows as debris can come flying through. The basement is the best area of the house to stay in during particularly dangerous storms, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
If the power goes out and you plan to use a generator, please follow specific safety instructions.
When surveying outside damage after a storm, always treat downed power lines a live and never touch them! Call your electrical company immediately. Contact your town/city for help with trees that are down in community areas, such as the street and on power lines. If your home has flooding, contact your electrician on what to do about before turning things on in the basement/flooded area. If your electricity is off for an extended amount of time bring your family to another family or friend’s house. Make sure everyone is safe.
Information on storm safety is from the National Grid website.
Picture is from tornado on Sunday near Worcester Academy