Oklahoma tornadoes: Six tips for tornado survivors

Recovering after tornado takes time, patience
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: May 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: May 20, 2013
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Here are tips from my own experience after the May 3, 1999, tornado leveled my Moore home:

You may need a tetanus shot. If you try to salvage belongings, you will get scratched up — a lot — digging through debris. (Tetanus is a disease caused by bacteria that can lead to severe muscle spasms.) Wear work gloves and consult a doctor.


Drink water. You may become so upset over your losses that you forget to drink anything and become dehydrated. Take plenty of bottled water with you if you try to recover your property.

Be patient. With so much devastation, insurance adjusters will need time to get to everyone. The U.S. Postal Service will find a way to get you your mail, probably at your local post office. If you have a home loan, notify your mortgage company right away.

The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Feed The Children, area churches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and many others will offer help. Check to see if you are eligible.

Find a place to stay soon. The better apartment complexes will fill up quickly. Your insurance company probably will cover most or all your rent until you can rebuild or relocate.

You could qualify for tax relief. At tax time next year, expect a break on your federal taxes if your neighborhood is declared a federal disaster area.


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