San Antonio Tornado Safety Tips
Structural damage and nearly half a dozen injuries have been sustained in San Antonio, Texas due to severe storms and tornadoes that ripped through the area Sunday night.
The storm hit just south of San Antonio International Airport leaving at least 100 buildings damaged, most of which were homes. Additionally, an elementary school was damaged and nearly 40,000 residents lost power.
There were also at least five injuries reported following the storms, all of which were considered minor. While the worst of the weather is behind us, the unpredictable nature of tornadoes means that Texas residents should always be prepared for unexpected storms. That starts with knowing some of the common warning signs of a tornado.
Tornado Warning Signs
Although tornadoes can form and touch down with little to no notice, there are usually warning signs to look out for that suggest a tornado may be imminent: Keeping an eye and ear out for these changes in weather patterns can help you gain crucial time for preparation and planning before a tornado.
Some of the most common tornado warning signs are:
- A funnel formation in the clouds
- A dark or green colored sky
- Large, dark, low-lying clouds
- Medium or large-size hail
- A loud roar that sounds like a freight train
If you see any of these tornado warning signs, seek out shelter immediately.
Seeking Shelter During a Tornado
If you see warning signs of a tornado forming or receive a tornado warning from your local emergency services, find suitable shelter immediately!
While there is no 100% completely safe place to go during a tornado, there are areas of the home that are safer and more suitable for shelter. If you have a storm shelter, safe room, cellar, or basement available, go immediately to that area. These are by far the safest structures available during severe weather like tornadoes.
If you don’t have a basement or cellar inside your home, go to a room on the lowest floor of your house such as a hallway, bathroom, or closet. Also, avoid windows and stay close to the center of the room. Windows can be blown in by the strong winds and the flying glass could cause serious injuries to you or your family.
Take cover under anything stable and sturdy, and cover your eyes either with a blanket, towel, or your hands to keep flying debris away. If you’re caught outdoors during a tornado and there is no available indoor shelter, try to avoid areas with lots of trees. Take cover under something sturdy and be sure to protect your head and neck.
Your home’s designated “safe area” should also include important items like an emergency kit, first aid, and communication resources such as radios or power outlets for phones so you can stay informed during the storm.
Check Weather Updates and Stay Informed
During inclement weather such as a tornado, it’s extremely important to stay informed. This mean checking things like weather updates and road closures so that you have all of the latest safety information available before you make potentially life-or-death decisions.
For example, listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information on changing weather conditions and visit the National Weather Service website for their updates and reports. Also, utilize the internet and social media so you can get live, real-time tornado updates.
Whether it’s radio, television, or internet, make sure that have one form of news available so that you can check your resources for important updates.
Helpful Online Resources
In addition to local radio and television news outlets, here are some other helpful online resources:
- Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House
- How to Protect Your Property from High Winds
- Tornado Protection – Selecting Refuge Areas
- Center of Disease Control – Emergency Preparedness
- Disaster Warnings from the Environment
And of course if your home suffers damage as a result of the storms, don’t hesitate to use 911 Restoration of San Antonio as a resource. We’re here 24/7 to help, especially after a severe storm, so give us a call at (210) 570-7877 for any restoration assistance needed!