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Remaining Safe When a Tornado Hits Brief Description: If you live in a place where tornados hit, you need to make sure that you know how to stay safe when the alarm sounds. This article suggests ways that you can be prepared and stay safe, so that your life does not have to be devastated by these terrible natural disasters. Tornados can be very frightening, destructive things, and they can destroy homes and lives in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. If you are not prepared, the situation can be extremely frightening and dangerous—however, if you are prepared and you know what to do, you can protect yourself and your family until the danger passes. Tornado damage occurs very quickly, and sometimes warning signs cannot be sounded or broadcasted in time. While emergency alert systems work well at times, other times your safety will have to be up to you, and you alone.

Point of Evacuation Knowing when to evacuate and when to find safe cover is very important. Always listen to the radio during times of extreme weather, so that you can hear when an alarm sounds, and when they tell you to evacuate. If an alert has been sounded and you have some time to prepare, you need to make sure that you move your cars inside your garage, and keep the keys inside your home. Try to move all your lawn furniture inside, so that it does not end up blowing into windows. Make sure that you know where all the members of your family are, and that you are all safe and calm together. If you have emergency kits, make sure that they are with you at all times. Keep your radio on, as previously mentioned, so that you know what is going on for as long as possible. A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted. Tornadoes can be deadly and devastating storms, with winds up to two hundred and sixty miles per hour. This means that you need to seek safety as quickly as possible.

In Preparation Know where all of your flashlights and emergency supplies are in advance, so that you do not have to run around searching for them when you have limited time. Learn the warning signals used in your community.

Put together an emergency storm kit including a transistor radio, flashlight, batteries and simple first-aid items in a waterproof container. You may want to have a food storage handy, and water bottles as well. If you have small children, you may want to conduct drills with your family in the home, so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency. Make sure each member knows the correct procedures if they are at work or school when a tornado hits. The safest place to be during a tornado is underground, preferably under something sturdy like a work bench. If there is no basement or cellar in your home, a small room in the middle of house is going to be the safest. Keep as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible. If you live in a mobile home, you should seek safe shelter elsewhere at the first sign of severe weather. Go to a prearranged shelter or talk to a friend or relative ahead of time to see if you can go to their house when the weather turns bad. Do not try to stay in your home—it could cost you your life.

Caught Up in a Storm If you have absolutely nowhere you can go, go outside and lay flat on the ground with your hands over your head and neck. Be alert for flash floods that often accompany such storms. If you are in your car when one of these disasters hit, know that it is not possible for you to outrun the disaster. It will pick up your car and throw it somewhere else as it if were a feather. If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning issued on the radio or by siren, get out of your vehicle and seek a safe structure. The last thing you want to do is stay in your car. If you are at work or school, make sure that you learn emergency shelter plans for wherever you are. If a specific shelter area does not exist, move into interior hallways or small rooms on the building's lowest level. Stay away from windows and glass at all times. Large, open rooms should be avoided as well. If you follow these safety tips, you and your family will remain as safe as possible during a tornado. Always try to stay calm, and think rationally when you hear that alarm sound.

Photo Credit: ViaMoi, Emarquetti

Remaining Safe When a Tornado Hits  
Remaining Safe When a Tornado Hits  

If you live in a place where tornados hit, you need to make sure that you know how to stay safe when the alarm sounds. This article suggests...