Tornadoes and earthquakes are remarkably similar, differing only in water adding to the misery in a storm. Tornado damage is usually less widespread than earthquake, and surrounding resources are more readily available, yet when it is happening, it appears that the whole world is caving in on itself.
The first priority, of course, is life saving and injury treatment. Once this is accomplished, assessment can begin in exactly the same format as other disasters.
Again, make sure the power is turned off and the gas is shut down. Touch nothing that you are not sure about. Move nothing until it is certain that it will not collapse or collapse from above.
In both types of disasters, personal property is strewn in different directions. If the materials are outside the main perimeter, they can be collected and sorted fairly easily.
Here is what you need for the clean up:
Rakes, steel and lawn (no plastic);
Shovels, flat and pointed;
5 gallon buckets;
Dollies, four wheel and two wheel;
¾” plywood sheets;
2 rolls Visqueen;
Sharpie markers and tags.
Where to start is open to question because there is usually debris all over the place. Start at the outer perimeter after the assessment is made.
The first thing to accomplish is setting up a work area where personal items can be assembled. Stacking clothing in one place, unbroken items to another side, broken items in another. It will make sense as the items are gathered. Once this area is designated, it is best not to sort things. There will be time for sorting later.
Everything in this phase runs on a rough and finish basis. The rough part is gathering up and stacking things, sorting is the finish part. Doing it this way will conserve time and reduce the stress of trying to do everything at once.
Designating one area for stacking and storing keeps focus on the job at hand.
It may be necessary to clear an area to do the stacking. If this is the case, do the clearing with storage in mind. This staging area is crucial to the ability to survey what is left. If the items are dry, sorting and packing into 33 gallon plastic bags is easy. Bags with ties make it easy to apply tags identifying the contents.
Shooting pictures of the stacks can be helpful.
The sorting table should remain in use as the clean up proceeds unless the weather does not permit. Should the weather turn bad, the table can be covered with plastic sheeting until the climate improves.