It’s spring in Oklahoma, and that means one thing for smart homeowners and property owners who like to be prepared. It’s time to plan for stormy weather. Bad weather can spin up anytime, especially in spring and even summer, and it can be stressful to deal with the aftermath, especially in times when other challenges already face you. That’s why it pays to have a plan in place ahead of time — so you can address tornado and storm damage quickly and protect your property. Do you know what you’ll do if a storm affects your home or business?
At Trilink Restoration Company, we believe homeowners, commercial property owners, and property managers can take steps ahead of time to be ready to mitigate storm damage to their homes or buildings. We provide emergency restoration plans for both residential and commercial properties, as well as swift and industry-leading storm restoration services — so you can get back to normal after tornadoes and other property damage.
Here are some key things every Oklahoma property owner should do when tornado damage or storm damage occurs.
Follow these tips to keep yourself, family, and coworkers well and protected in the aftermath of tornado and storm damage.
Know what to do before, during and after bad weather. Before and during a tornado, severe thunderstorms and hailstorms, everyone on the property should move to a safe place and remain there. It’s important to stay alert to NOAA weather reports and news reports so that no one emerges from shelter until the danger is safely over.
Get everyone to safety.
Once the stormy weather has passed, make sure everyone is safely away from any areas that could cause additional problems. For example, if a structure has become unstable, no one should be near it. If a space in your home or building is flooded, it could have bacteria, sewage and debris in it, and everyone should move out of the flooded area.
Care for those who are injured.
Tend to those who were harmed by giving first aid as needed. Don’t move seriously injured people, but do offer comfort and call 911 if necessary.
Reach out to loved ones.
Damaging storms and tornadoes create a lot of stress and worry. Once you’re safe, contact family and friends to let them know you’re okay, and check on their condition as well. Texts and social media are better than phone calls in the immediate aftermath of a storm, when utilities need to be used by emergency workers.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
Don’t add to the problem by staying in places where roofs are damaged, trees are down, power lines are down, etc. Get away from such areas to a place where you can be safely sheltered.
Inspect for Damage
Once you’re sure the tornado weather and storms are over, you’ll need to assess your home or commercial property for any signs of problems that need to be addressed. Remember, the faster you act to mitigate the damage, the easier it will be to restore your home or office and get back to your routine. Home restoration and office restoration will involve multiple steps.
If you’re going to be moving into areas that have incurred any kind of damage, be sure to protect yourself physically. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, rubber boots, or sturdy shoes. Better yet, call in experts who are well versed in inspecting for damage.
Leaks can lead to danger, so it’s important to act quickly to stop any issues that could endanger lives.
- Gas — If you smell gas, hear a hissing noise, or suspect gas lines have been damaged, open a window and immediately leave the property. If possible, turn off the outside gas valve. Call the gas company from a safe place. They’ll inspect it and authorize when it is safe to turn back on.
- Electricity — Turn off your electricity at the main fuse box, especially if you see sparks, notice broken wires, or smell something burning. If there’s a water leak or flooding, don’t touch anything. Instead, call an electrician or the utility company.
- Water — If your property is flooded due to broken pipes, or if you suspect sewage pipes have been damaged, avoid the area and call a plumber or the water company. Don’t use running water because it may not be safe. Use bottled water instead.
Damage to roofing is common due to high winds, hail, and tornadoes. After the storm has passed, look for holes in the roof, missing or curled shingles, or other signs the roof isn’t as secure as it needs to be.
The pressure difference inside and outside of a home or office can lead to breaks in glass windows and glass doors. And flying debris can also cause storm damage. Check for broken glass so you know what to repair and what areas to avoid.
A home or office’s doors can also be affected by tornado damage. Garage doors are especially vulnerable because they are large and relatively lightweight, and therefore subject to heavy winds and debris. Look to see if the door is off its tracks or broken.
Tornado winds, hail, flying projectiles — all can do storm damage to your home’s exterior. Look for missing or loosened siding boards, cracked wood or vinyl, holes in stucco, broken bricks, scratches from fallen branches, and other issues that need to be repaired.
Plan Ahead to Put Your Mind at Ease
One of the best ways to handle tornado damage and get home restoration and property repairs addressed quickly is to be prepared ahead of time. Having a clear go-to plan makes your life easier, lessens the stress of last-minute decisions, and starts you on the path to normalcy that much quicker.
To create a preparedness plan that works for you, ask us about our Emergency Restoration Management Plans for residential and commercial properties. We’ll set up a custom approach you can rely on, and you’ll be able to call us immediately in times of need. Contact us to get started.