How to Prepare for a Tornado
What is a tornado? A tornado is a powerful rotating column of air that stretches from a thunderstorm's base to the ground and has the potential to cause extensive damage.
Tornadoes can strike abruptly and unexpectedly, therefore it is critical to be prepared.
Here are some actions you can take to prepare:
1. Listen to local radio or TV news, sign up for alert notifications, or download a weather app to your smartphone to stay updated on local conditions.
2. Create an emergency plan so everyone in your household understands what to do if a tornado hits. Include information like where you will go if you need to evacuate and who will be in charge of gathering various goods (such as crucial documents, emergency supply packs, tornado watches, and emergency radios, and reach the nearest shelter right away.
What If a Tornado Picks You Up?
If you are in the path of a tornado and are hoisted into the air, try to remain cool. Cover your head with your arms or, if feasible, grab a substantial object such as a tree limb. Avoid windows, doors, and other things that could cause injury if tossed around by the storm. Most essential, do not try to outrun a tornado, which can travel unpredictably and faster than a person can run.
Tornadoes may NOT be driven or walked through. The least desirable place to be during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Cars, buses, and trucks are easily tossed by tornado winds.
• Avoid seeking refuge under bridges, overpasses, or power poles because these structures are not intended to withstand tornadoes and may collapse.
• Avoid opening windows, as this will just bring more wind into your home.
• Avoid objects that can go airborne, such as furniture, appliances, and glass items.
• Never seek cover in a mobile home, as they offer minimal protection from severe winds.
You can help reduce the impact of a tornado if it strikes your region by taking the procedures listed below ahead of time and following the advice provided above. Remember, planning is essential when it comes to remaining safe in extreme weather.
1. Ensure your family has an emergency plan in place, including a prearranged meeting site in case you become separated during the storm.
2. Prepare a tornado emergency kit with materials such as first-aid supplies, a flashlight and extra batteries, battery-powered weather radios, canned food and a manual can openers, bottled water, blankets, protective clothing, and sturdy shoes.
3. Know the warning signs of an incoming tornado, such as heavy black clouds, hail, a loud roar, strong winds, and flying debris, and keep an eye on local media for updates.
4. If you have enough time before a tornado strikes, move furniture away from windows to avoid broken glass or things thrown through them by strong winds.
5. Secure any outdoor things that could become projectiles in severe winds, such as patio furniture or planters.
6. If a basement, storm cellar, or emergency shelter is available, seek shelter there. If not possible, consider a modest windowless inner room on the lowest floor of your property away from glass windows and doors. These precautions can keep you and your family safe from flying debris and severe winds. Furthermore, if you live in a mobile home park, ask about communal shelters or safe rooms that may be accessible for usage.
7. To protect oneself from flying debris, cover yourself with thick cushioning, such as a mattress or quilt. Stay out of automobiles, which can be thrown around by strong winds; instead, seek refuge elsewhere.
8. Remember emergency numbers for police and fire departments, as well as family contact information; program them into your cell phone beforehand in an emergency circumstance, so have them handy.
9. If you are outside and there is no shelter available, lie down in a ditch or low-lying area to protect yourself from flying debris; try to cover your head and neck with your hands for extra protection.
10. After the tornado has passed, stay away from downed power lines, damaged buildings, and flooding regions until local officials issue an all-clear signal. Follow any advice given by emergency officials and evacuate if necessary. Contact family members as quickly as possible to inform them that everyone is safe. Stay tuned to local media for updates and other safety information.
11. If you reside in an area that is prone to flooding after tornadoes, you should consider obtaining flood insurance. Additionally, review your emergency plans with family members on a regular basis to ensure that everyone understands what to do in the event of a tragedy. You and your loved ones can be safer during a tornado if you plan ahead of time and prepare properly.
12. Create an emergency communication strategy for your family and ensure that everyone is aware of it. Make careful to include contact information for out-of-town relatives or acquaintances in case local phone lines go down. In the event of a disaster, designate one person as the key contact and make sure everyone understands how to reach them. Also, retain vital documents like insurance policies and Social Security cards and birth certificates in a secure location.
13. Participate in organized tornado exercises with your family so that everyone understands what to do in an emergency. This will assist everyone familiarize themselves with the placement of emergency supplies and how to respond in a crisis.
14. If a tornado warning is issued, relocate promptly to a designated safe spot and avoid windows and outside walls. To protect oneself from flying debris, wrap up in blankets or cushions and, if possible, don helmets or other protective headgear. If you are outside when a tornado strikes, seek shelter quickly in a sturdy building. Avoid taking cover near tall trees or power wires, as these can become dangerous during heavy winds. After the tornado has passed, remain indoors until it is safe to go outside and check for damage.
15. If you live in a tornado-prone location, consider adding storm shutters or impact-resistant windows. These can help shield your home from flying debris during strong winds. Consider acquiring a generator to ensure that your family has access to energy following a tornado.
16. Finally, sign up for local weather alerts to receive notifications about severe storms as soon as they occur. You can also monitor social media sites like Twitter or Facebook for updates on specific storms or advisories in your area, as well as follow reputable news sources like the National Weather Service or your local station. This manner, you'll be well-prepared when a tornado strikes to secure your safety of your and your loved ones.
A NOAA weather radio, emergency evacuation routes, and other local resources may be useful in a crisis. Keep a list of local emergency contact information, such as the police, fire department, and hospitals, in case of an emergency. Consider putting together an emergency kit with items like food, water, flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies to help you stay safe during a storm. Having these items on hand can ensure that your family is ready for any emergency. Follow these safety precautions to protect yourself and your family against tornadoes. Taking precautions now helps ensure that everyone is prepared to respond promptly and securely in an emergency situation. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry!