Respond to requests for volunteer assistance from police, fire fighters, emergency management, and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts, and you could endanger yourself.
Be careful near damaged buildings.
Do not enter a damaged building until local authorities determine it is safe. Tornadoes can damage buildings and make them unsafe.
Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
Leave your home or building if you hear shifting or unusual noises. Strange noises could mean the building is about to fall.
Be aware of possible structural, electrical, or gas-leak hazards in your home.
Carefully check your home’s walls, floors, doors, windows, and staircases for damage. If you see structural damage, like cracks in the foundation or missing support beams, you may need to relocate to a shelter or another safe location.
Check gas, electrical, and water lines for damage. If you smell gas or see a broken line, shut off the main valve from the outside. (Note: if gas is turned off, a professional must restore service.)
Do not use matches, lighters, appliances, or light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas, causing an explosion.
If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker. Learn more on how to protect yourself from electrical hazards after a disaster.
Never use portable gasoline or coal-burning equipment or camp stoves inside your home, basement, or garage. Keep it outside and at least 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
Use a battery-operated or battery backup CO detector any time you use a generator or anything else that burns fuel.
If you have a CO detector and it starts beeping, leave your home right away and call 911.
Drink safe water. Eat safe food.
Throw away perishable foods that have not been refrigerated properly due to power outages; also discard foods with an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
Throw away food that may have come in contact with storm water. Unsafe food can make you sick even if it looks, smells, and tastes normal.
Listen to reports from local officials for advice on water precautions in your home. Do not use water you suspect or have been told is contaminated to make baby formula, make ice, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, or wash dishes.
Bottled, boiled, or treated water are safe for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Your state, tribal, local, or territorial health department can make specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area.
During and after a tornado, it is natural to experience different and strong emotions. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster.
Connect with family, friends, and others in your community.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones and know when and how to seek help.