Tornado Season: Are You Prepared?
The spring and summer months bring the potential for tornadoes. If a tornado is coming, you have only a short amount of time to make decisions that affect the safety of you and your family. Advance planning and taking quick action are crucial to surviving these destructive storms.
Before a tornado hits:
- Conduct a tornado drill at least once each year. Designate an area in the home as a shelter and practice a family response to a tornado threat.
- Instruct family members on the difference between a “tornado watch” (when conditions increase the risk of tornadoes) and a “tornado warning” (when a tornado has actually been sighted).
- Keep disaster supplies on hand, (this applies to any severe weather
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
- First aid kit and manual.
- Emergency water, food and a nonelectric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Develop an emergency communication plan if family members are separated during a tornado.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as a contact person for family members during emergency situations. Provide this contact information to your family members.
During a tornado:
- Go to the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, go to an inner room without windows.
- Stay away from windows.
- Go to the center of the room.
- Get under a piece of sturdy furniture or a table and hold on to it.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
- Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.
- If in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere.
If you are outdoors during a tornado:
- Drivers should stop, exit their cars and seek shelter immediately.
- If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
- Protect your head and neck with your arms.
Consult the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) website