What To Do If You've Been Affected By A Tornado
Tuesday, May 24th 2011, 7:59 pm
Tornadoes have devastated lives in Oklahoma and some surrounding states. But dealing with the damage a twister can leave behind also can be dangerous.
Here are some tips on what to do if you're affected:
- Make sure everyone is safe. Contact family and friends. Make sure everyone is accounted for.
- Don't venture outside until you're sure the storm has passed.
- If you've been evacuated, don't return home until authorities have declared that your neighborhood is safe.
- Don't drive on flooded roads.
- Beware of downed power lines, flooded roads, debris on the road and utility hazards.
- Be careful returning to a storm-damaged house. Make sure it's structurally safe before entering.
- Take photos of the damage before having it removed or repaired.
- Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage, such as covering a hole in your roof or broken window with plastic sheeting.
- Remove standing water if possible.
- Dry and disinfect all materials in the house to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
- Keep a record of any temporary repair costs.
"If you experienced a loss, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damages," said Lisa St. Onge, an assistant vice president at Amica Insurance.