Tornado Health & Safety Information

Downed Power Lines

  • Avoid these areas, especially in wet areas.
  • Report these to your utility as soon as possible.
  • Don't attempt to remove trees and debris from the area until given clearance from your utility.

Natural Gas Leaks

  • If you smell gas, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY!!
  • If you have a gas leak, contact your utility from a different location to avoid and unnecessary electrical activity.
  • No smoking, open flame or devices that might generate static electricity should be used if a gas leak is suspected.

Damaged Buildings and Structures

  • Carefully assess for safety before entering.
  • Do not enter alone.
  • Do not attempt to restore or work on power sources without first contacting your utility.
  • Do not enter buildings that have been posted as unsafe.

Confined Areas

  • Stay out of confined areas. Basements, crawl spaces and other enclosed areas may pose special hazards.

Physical Hazards

  • Use gloves, work boots and eye protection when performing clean up tasks.
  • Use hard hats in posted areas if necessary
  • Make sure that your tetanus shot is up to date when starting clean up activities. If you need to update your tetanus shot call your local health care provider or local health department, 608-742-9227.
  • If you are injured while performing clean up work contact your health care provider for treatment as soon as possible. Injuries such as cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds will need treatment and you may need tetanus shot. Your health care provider can also instruct you in the signs and symptoms of infection you need to be on the look out for.

Animals and Insects

  • With all the recent rain, insects especially mosquitoes are going to be a constant nuisance during the clean up process. Wear DEET containing (unless otherwise instructed by your health care provided) insect repellant when outside performing clean up activities.
  • Check with your health care provider before using DEET containing products on infants and children.
  • Beware of wild animals such as raccoons and skunks that may have been disturbed by the storm. Also avoid any cats and dogs that you don't know.
  • If you are bitten by any animals contact your physician, the local police or sheriff's department or the local health department as soon as possible.
  • Displaced animals may seek shelter in damaged homes, garages or other buildings. Carefully inspect before entering for any reason.

Emergency Generators

  • If using an emergency generator, it must be used in a well ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Water and Food Safety

  1. Damaged/Unsafe Foods
    • Discard any perishable food left at room temperature for two or more hours.
    • Frozen foods which have thawed should be discarded if not consumed immediately or kept refrigerated.
  2. Private Wells
    • If your well service is disrupted, only use water from a known safe source.
    • Test your water for bacteria when power/service is restored before using.
    • Well test kits can be obtained from your local health department for families with infants (less than 1 year old), children and pregnant women and the UW-Extension. You can also contact a well digging service about how to get water tested.

Social Services

  • If you or someone you know is in need of crisis counseling services or may just want someone to talk to, contact your local Human Service and Health Department.

For more information or if you need more of these sheets, contact your local health department at (608) 742-9227 or your local emergency government director.