IAFF Tornado Resources
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view an interactive tornado map
The IAFF has set up this Tornado Resource page where you can get information
about tornado preparedness and emergency response. Links are available with contact information for your state
agencies, as well as federal resources such as the Department of Health,
environmental and news sources.
BEFORE AND DURING THE STORM
Tornado Safety Checklist. Review this Tornado Safety Checklist from the
American Red Cross to prepare for the dangers of a tornado.
Know your community’s tornado alert system. This is critical since tornados
often occur suddenly with little or no warning; the best way to be prepared is
to understand your local tornado alerts or sirens. Listen to the local
authorities via your local radio or television to stay informed about tornado
watches and warnings.
Know how to recognize an approaching tornado by watching for these signs:
A dark or green-colored sky.
A large, dark, low-lying cloud.
A loud roar that sounds like a freight train.
The safest place to be in a tornado is an
underground shelter, such as a basement. If you do not have a basement, pick a
small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy
building as your safe room. Consider having this safe room reinforced following
the guidelines provided by FEMA found here.
Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. If you live in a mobile home, make
plans in advance to seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building or shelter. Do
not wait until you see the tornado to evacuate.
Subscribe to alert services. Local officials have developed systems that will
send text messages or emails alerting you to local emergencies or bad weather.
Check your local government’s community information page to find ways that you
can be alerted for tornado warnings or sign up for local alerts.
Prepare for Power Outages.
Charge Cell Phones and Laptops. Make sure cell phones and laptops are fully
charged so they can be used in the event of a power outage.
If power is interrupted, here are some practical tips for dealing with power
Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug
other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will
prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the company's system when
power is restored.
Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you
Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is
Frozen food can last up to three days. It is safe to eat if it still has ice
crystals at the center.
If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting,
ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
AFTER THE STORM
Coping with power outages. This site from the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention highlights healthy steps you should take to ensure food, water,
and home safety after an extended power outage. Tips on the site address
everything from guidelines on what to do with food in your freezer or
refrigerator, to water purification procedures, to carbon monoxide poisoning
Safety Precautions After Tornados. This site from the Centers for Disease
Control provides safety guidelines that can help you avoid injuries after a
tornado. Typically, about 50% of tornado-related injuries occur during rescue
attempts, clean up efforts, and other post-tornado activities.
flooding and mold. This site from the Environmental Protection Agency is
dedicated to providing information on cleaning up your home or office after a
storm that has resulted in flooding, including addressing standing water and wet
materials. The site offers basic information on addressing viruses, bacteria,
and mold that can occur in the wake of a flood.
fallen branches and trees. The CDC provides tips to help safeguard against
injury as a result of removing fallen or partially fallen trees and tree
branches, including information on properly using chainsaws in hazardous
Saving family treasures. These guidelines from The National Archives will
walk you through preserving some of your family’s most treasured items that may
have been damaged by flood waters. The guidelines range in topics from what do
to with wet records, to salvaging family papers, to properly air-drying books,
to caring for water damaged heirlooms.
Protect emergency response and cleanup workers
As the disaster recovery operations begins, disaster response workers and
members of the public engaged in cleanup activities to be aware of hazards they
might encounter and the necessary steps they should take to protect themselves.
OSHA maintains a
comprehensive website on keeping disaster site workers safe during and after
a tornado that outlines the hazards that workers may face when responding to
natural disasters. The site includes a
response/recovery page which provides information on potential hazards
workers may face when responding to tornado-impacted areas, including search and
rescue guidelines, generator safety, chain saw safety, and downed electrical
How to Donate to
IAFF Disaster Relief Fund
Disaster Relief Assistance Form
Frequently Asked Questions
STATE EMERGENCY OFFICES
Safety and Health Administration
Tornado Preparedness and Response
Keeping Workers Safe During Tornado Cleanup and Recovery
Safety and Health Guide to Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
NIEHS National Clearinghouse. Funded by
the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program and is the primary national
source for hazardous waste worker curricula, technical reports, and weekly news.
NIEHS Emergency Preparedness Resources.
This webpage provides documents and resources related to emergency preparedness
and response. Documents on this page address issues in government preparedness
and public preparedness.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tornado Resource Page.
This page provides safety and preparedness guidelines before, during, and after
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health and Safety
Concerns for All Disasters. This section is dedicated
to post-disaster health and safety issues, such as carbon monoxide poisoning,
mold, food storage, power outages, and more.
NIOSH Tornado Cleanup and Response.
This CDC-NIOSH website contains links to information about hazards associated
with tornado cleanup.
NIOSH Guidance on Person Protective Equipment and Clothing for
Storm and Flood Response
Disaster Mental Health Resources.
Information regarding mental health issues related to disasters, with specific
information for responders, emergency personnel and clinicians
Diseases Transmitted by Foods (A Classification and Summary)
Frank L. Bryan, PhD, MPH; Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health
Service, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Professional Development and
Training; Atlanta, Georgia 30333, 1982
Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Responders
Sanitation and Hygiene
Vector-borne Disease Surveillance and Natural Disasters,
Roger S. Nasci and Chester G. Moore, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol 4, No 2,
April – June 1998
Department of Homeland Security/FEMA
Declared Disasters and Emergencies
National Library of Medicine: Tornado Links to information about
preparedness, recovery and environmental health
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RESOURCES
Field Manual 4-02.10 - Theater Hospitalization, January 2005
Department of Defense 3025.1-M, Manual for Civil Emergencies 1994
Domestic Support Operations FM 100-19, FMFM 7-10
Technical Guidance 273 – Standard Precautions and Isolation
Flood Hazards and Flood Clean Up Operations Brief for KYARNG
U.S. Army Public Health Command Heat Illness Prevention
CHPPM: Natural Disaster Resource Materials
FORSCOM Regulation 700-2 Standing Logistics Instructions
Emergency Water Supply Resources
Fact Sheet 31-008-1004-Emergency Drinking Water Disinfection
Fact Sheet 31-009-1004-Choosing an Alternate Water Supply During
Chlorine Dosage Calculations and Measurements - from the draft TB
MED 577-Chemical dosing instructions (and conversion factors) for different
chlorine disinfectants and water volumes
AFPMB Technical Guide No. 24 Contingency Pest Management Guide
AFPMB Technical Guide No. 30 - Filth Flies: Significance,
Surveillance and Control in Contingency Operations
AFPMB Technical Guide No. 36, "Personal Protective Measures
Against Insects and Other Arthropods of Military Significance"
AFPMP Technical Guide No. 43 - Guide to Pest Surveillance During
AFPMB Personal Protection Measures (PPM) for Deployments
AFPMB Technical Guidance for Contingencies
AFPMB DOD Standard Pesticides and Pest Control Equipment Lists
DoD Insect Repellent System
Personal Protective Measures (PPMs) Against Insects and Other
Arthropods of Military Importance, 15 March 2005
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
DoD pesticide Hotline
TG 195 - Guidelines for Protecting Mortuary Affairs Personnel
from Potentially Infectious Materials
Cleaning Refrigeration Containers
Psychological Stress Resources
Coping with Stress in Stability and Support Operations
How to Face the Injured and Dead
After a Disaster: Self-Care Tips for Dealing with Stress
Handouts for Adult Survivors of Disasters
Helping Children After a Disasters
Dealing with the Stress of Recovering Human Dead Bodies
Stress and Rescue Operations Performance
Helping Children Cope with a National Tragedy
Crisis Communication Checklist
Crisis Communication Fact Sheet Guidelines
Crisis Communication Media Information and Interviewing Tips
Crisis Communication Tips from CDC
Health Risk Communication Resources
American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA)
Incident Preparedness and Response Working Group
Emergency Response Documents
White Paper -
"Industrial Hygienists' Role and Responsibilities in Emergency
Preparedness and Response
World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO: Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters: A
Practical Guide - Excerpt
on Control of Communicable Diseases and Prevention Epidemics
WHO: Control of communicable diseases and prevention of epidemics
Infection Control Guidelines for Community Shelter and Group
Homes - Infection Control
Subcommittee of the Manitoba Advisory Committee on Infectious Disease
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Infectious disease risks from dead bodies following natural
In Natural Disasters, Cadavers Pose No Threat of Disease
The Role of Laboratories and Blood Banks in Disaster Situations
Handling Bodies after Disasters: New Book Offers Guidelines
CNN Home Page
Google News - Tornadoes