Tornado tips

What to to do no matter where you are

Posted on Apr 01 2019 in Safety

Tornado season is upon us. Do you know what to do if you’re in the path of a tornado?

If you’re inside during a tornado, take shelter in a windowless, interior room; a storm cellar; or the lowest level of the building. Stay away from glass doors and windows to avoid debris from heavy wind. 

Crouch down and make yourself as small of a “target” as possible. If you can, get under a piece of sturdy furniture, like a heavy table or desk. Always use your arms to protect your head and neck from injury.

If a tornado hits while you’re in a car, trailer or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter. Cars, trailers and mobile homes can easily be swept away by a tornado or heavy winds. They are not safe places to be.

If you are outside and cannot find shelter, seek low ground or depression and cover your head and neck. Be aware of possible risks like falling trees or power lines and lightning. 

The most dangerous place to be during a tornado is under an overpass. Seeking shelter under an overpass puts you at a higher elevation with no protection from debris and winds. These high wind speeds can also make it hard to drive safely, so in most cases we advise against outrunning a storm. Traffic, debris or other obstacles, and the chance of a storm changing directions, can make it very dangerous to do so.

To prepare for a tornado, always keep a battery-powered radio handy to receive emergency information. Also, to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, never use generators or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper.

The time after a tornado brings communities together, and many want to help in any way they can. But be careful when entering damaged buildings and stay out of any buildings that smell like gas. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris. 

If you want to help with the recovery efforts after a disaster, please go through an established organization to volunteer. These areas can be dangerous, and those organizations will know how to organize and respond in a safe manner.

Signs of a tornado:

• Dark green sky
• Rotating wall cloud
• Large hail
• Loud roar, like a freight train

How to prepare for a tornado:

• Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations.
• Watch the weather and be prepared to take shelter immediately.
• Designate a spot in your home as a shelter, and practice with everyone in your family.
• Make sure everyone understands the siren warning system in the area.
• Mark where first-aid kit and fire extinguishers are located.