Tornado Safety Tips When Living in An Apartment

With the warm and humid Iowa weather often comes plenty of tornados, and while typically cyclones are a good thing in Ames, the weather kind are what we need to be prepared for. Living in an apartment during severe weather can be nerve-wracking, but we’re here to pass on a few tips to help you feel confident and safe the next time you hear storm sirens go off.

How to Prepare for Upcoming Tornado Weather

Ask Your Leasing Manager About Tornado Protocol

This will vary on which apartment complex you live in, but all apartments should have a recommended area, storm shelter, basement, etc. for tenants to use in the event of severe weather. 

Create a Plan

Take into consideration what floor your unit is on and where you’ll need to head when tornado weather hits. Do you have pets? Are there any valuables you know you’ll need to bring along? Write this down and check it every now and then to remember what your plan is.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

Keeping an evacuation kit handy can help provide you with essentials if you’re in a spot where you don’t have time to look for and grab things before seeking shelter. Items that could be in your kit include:

Look for the Signs

Often times, it can be easy to pick out signals that a tornado is on its way. Check to see if the following things seem out of the ordinary:

Quickly Moving Clouds

If a tornado is close, you’ll see strong, continual cloud rotation towards the cloud base.

Sporadic Weather Changes

Notice if the weather is changing rapidly. This can look like heavy rain occurring for a few minutes, followed by a dead calm, taken over by large bouts of wind.

High Wind

If a tornado is near, debris and dust will begin rapidly spinning around.

Continuous Rumbling

If you hear a low rumble that lasts longer than your average thunder, this could also be a sign. 

What to Do in the Event of a Tornado

Move to the Lowest Apartment Level Possible

If given enough warning, try your best to move down to the first floor of your apartment, if not to a basement or shelter that your complex may have on-site. The lower you are, the safer you will be.

Seek Shelter Away from Windows

If you can’t leave your apartment unit, look for shelter as far away from windows as possible. Pick a place like a bathroom, closet, or even a hallway. Once there, try to use blankets, towels, etc. to cover yourself in the event that debris enters your apartment.

Wait Out the Storm

If able, use your phone or portable radio to stay up to date with tornado warnings/watches and only leave shelter once the coast is clear. Even if the rain stops, or you don’t hear thunder anymore, does not mean it is safe for you to move yet.

Find Your Ames Apartment

Are you looking for an apartment to lease in Ames starting this summer? View our properties page to find the perfect fit and contact us for a tour.