Tornado Preparedness: Tornado Evacuation Plan

Hurricane Rita Evacuation Magnolia gas station 3

. . . . When You’ve Gotta’ Go, You’ve Gotta’ Go

Hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms can mean that the evacuation of a whole community is the only answer . . . and it happens a lot more regularly than you might think.  When it’s time to go and a whole community is evacuated because of a tornado disaster then it’s down to the officials to tell everyone in the neighborhood that it’s time to scarper. Various methods are used . . . television reports, radio, loud speakers, telephone calls, sirens . . . it doesn’t matter whether you are at work, at school, at home or shopping in the mall, when you’ve gotta’ go, you’ve gotta go.

Tornado Evacuations are just one cause of people having to leave their homes, but transport or industrial accidents which release harmful substances can also ultimately end up with people having to leave their homes for their own safety. Floods and fire cause frequent evacuations too, whether or not it all started with a hurricane, tornado or tropical storm.

Local authorities (especially in areas of high risk) will have an evacuation plan with their emergency routes all planned out, why not ask for a map (before the hurricane starts).

Tornado Evacuation Plan Guidelines

Whether the evacuation is caused by a tornado or indeed any other disaster, there are guidelines which need to be followed to make everything run as smoothly and as safely as possible.

  • Keep your car gas tank topped up. If you have to evacuate by car and the gas stations are closed because of the tornado emergency then you ain’t gonna get far are you? Remember to pick up your disaster supply kit if you have the time.
  • If you don’t have a car you need to find a back-up plan B. See if you can make arrangements with friends, neighbors or even the local government in case of a tornado emergency.
  • If at all possible make sure that you are wearing the right kind of gear to keep yourself warm, comfortable and dry. It might be difficult if you’re caught in your pj’s in the middle of the night, but do try to think ahead and wear long pants, long sleeves and even a cap for protection if you possibly have the time.
  • Gather up your family as quickly as possible and evacuate the area immediately according to the tornado evacuation plan. Don’t forget to tell family or friends where you are heading.
  • Always follow the tornado evacuation instructions. Even if the power is out you can listen to them on a battery powered radio. Don’t forget to secure your home, lock all of the doors and windows (hopefully you’ll have already installed some hurricane shutters to the windows), unplug anything electrical except for freezers and refrigerators, unless there’s a high risk of flooding.
  • Don’t drive through flooded areas. Listen to the tornado evacuation information at all times for up to date info about the areas which are most affected and the areas which can be traversed safely.
  • Keep well clear of downed power lines during a tornado evacuation.
  • During a tornado evacuation try to move as quickly and as safely as possible. Remember, there won’t be just you trying to make the great escape, there’ll be the whole neighborhood trying to get away at the same time. Remain calm, move quickly and above all, be safe!

Very calm, very efficient, very well organized . . . just like a tornado evacuation ought to be.

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