Preparing for a Tornado

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Home Improvement

Do you know what to do during a tornado?
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As tornado season approaches, it’s important to remember the seriousness of these weather events. Tornadoes are powerful storms that can cause massive damage, and they can strike suddenly with little or no warning. Although they usually occur during spring and summer in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, tornadoes can happen at any time and in any direction.

But don’t let fear overwhelm you – there are steps you can take to prepare for a tornado and keep your family safe. One way to do this is to have an emergency kit on hand and a plan in place. For example, the Burnetts in Piedmont, Oklahoma were able to stay safe during a tornado thanks to their preparedness.

What to Include in Your Tornado Safety Kit

If you want to be ready for a tornado, it’s important to have the right items on hand. Store them in a safe area or in a bag that you can easily take with you in case you need to evacuate. Here are some items to consider:

This is a list of important items to have in your emergency kit in case of a tornado: flashlight, extra batteries, battery-operated radio, first aid kit, extra supply of prescription medications, manual can opener, emergency food and water, emergency medicine, and well-built shoes, long-sleeved pants and shirts for protection after the tornado. After preparing your emergency kit, consider the best place for a safe room in your home, ideally below ground level with strong walls to sustain wind and debris. Signs of a tornado include a dark, greenish sky, large hail, dark, large, and low clouds, and a loud roar. If a tornado strikes, go to the lowest level in a basement or cellar, or the most interior room on the lowest level away from windows and doors. If in a mobile home, leave immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building. Stay inside until the storm is over, using battery-powered equipment and avoiding electrical equipment. When the storm has passed, use caution when entering a possibly damaged structure, avoiding power lines and cutting off the electrical system if needed.

It is important to collaborate with law enforcement and public safety officials as they have the most up-to-date information on the tornado’s status, evacuation procedures, and safety measures.

What should you do if you don’t have a basement?

If you don’t have a basement, taking refuge in the bathroom can be a good idea, but only if it is located in the center of your home. However, modern-day fiberglass bathtubs do not offer the same level of protection as older iron or steel tubs. Nevertheless, it is better than having no shelter. Remember to cover your head once you’re inside.

Lots More Information

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Sources

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Tornadoes.” (Jan. 24, 2012). http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes
  • Mills, Chellie. “Is Bathtub Safe Place during Tornado?” KFOR.com. (Feb. 6, 2012). http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-is-bathtub-safe-place-during-tornado-20110527,0,610525.story
  • Naasel, Kenrya Rankin and Thompson, Jihan. “We Survived”: 3 Inspiring Stories from Families Who Survived This Year’s Tornadoes.” Redbook. (Feb. 2, 2012). http://www.redbookmag.com/health-wellness/advice/tornado-survivors
  • Red Cross. “Tornadoes.” (Jan. 24, 2012). http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.86f46a12f382290517a8f210b80f78a0/?vgnextoid=62a7da30df3ea110VgnVCM10000030f3870aRCRD
  • Tornado Safety. Storm Prediction Center. (Feb. 2, 2012). http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/#Safety

FAQ

1. What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground.

2. Where do tornadoes usually occur?

Tornadoes can occur in any part of the world, but they are most common in the United States. The area of the United States known as Tornado Alley is particularly vulnerable.

3. What are the signs that a tornado is coming?

The sky may turn green or yellow, there may be a sudden drop in temperature, and you may hear a loud roar like a train. You should also pay attention to tornado warnings from the National Weather Service.

4. What should I do if I hear a tornado warning?

You should seek shelter immediately. Go to the lowest level of your home, away from windows, and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. If you are in a public building, follow the instructions of the staff.

5. What should I do if I don’t have a basement?

If you don’t have a basement, go to the lowest level of your home and find a small interior room, such as a closet or bathroom, without windows. Cover yourself with blankets or pillows to protect yourself from flying debris.

6. What should I do if I’m in a car?

If you’re in a car, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building or a low-lying area, such as a ditch. If you can’t get out of your car, buckle your seatbelt and cover your head with your arms and a blanket or coat.

7. How can I prepare my home for a tornado?

You can reinforce your garage door, install storm shutters, and trim trees and shrubs around your home. You should also have an emergency kit with food, water, and first aid supplies, and make sure you have a way to receive weather alerts.

8. What should I do after a tornado?

Stay away from damaged areas and downed power lines. Check on your family and neighbors, and listen to local news for information about shelters and emergency services. Take photos of any damage for insurance purposes.

9. How can I help others after a tornado?

You can volunteer with disaster relief organizations, donate money or supplies, or offer your time and skills to help clean up and rebuild affected areas.

10. How can I talk to my children about tornadoes?

You can explain what a tornado is and why it’s important to take shelter. Use age-appropriate language and be honest about the potential dangers, but also emphasize the importance of being prepared and staying calm.

11. What are some common myths about tornadoes?

Some common myths include that opening windows will equalize pressure and prevent damage, that tornadoes only occur in rural areas, and that overpasses provide safe shelter. None of these are true.

12. How can I stay informed about tornadoes?

You can sign up for weather alerts from the National Weather Service, follow local news and weather reports, and download weather apps for your smartphone or tablet.

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