Tornadoes threaten the safety of millions of homeowners, as well as damage to property, each year. Residents of areas in the path of the twister must be proactive ahead of its touch-down, starting with the following steps, courtesy of the Red Cross:
1. Build a disaster kit
with enough supplies for at least three days. This kit should include:
• Battery-Powered or Hand-Crank Radio
• Copies of Important Documents
• Extra Batteries
• First-Aid Kit
• Multi-Purpose Tool
• Non-Perishable Food
• Sanitation/Hygiene Items
2. Develop an emergency plan
in which each person knows how to reach other members of the household. Include an out-of-area emergency contact person in the plan, and designate a meeting area should you be unable to return home.
3. Select a safe room
, preferably a basement, storm cellar or other window-less interior room on the lowest floor. Be sure all members of the household are aware of its location.
4. Move outdoor structures
, such as hanging plants, lawn furniture or trash cans, inside to prevent wind-caused damage.
5. Watch for signs of a pending storm
, such as darkening skies, green-ish clouds, hail and wind. If you can hear thunder, you may be at risk for lightning damage. Remember: If thunder roars, head indoors.
6. Know your community’s warning system
, and be alert for its signals. Stay abreast of the latest information regarding the storm by listening to a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio or your local news.
When a tornado hits:
• Go to the designated safe room, or an underground shelter. If you live in a mobile home, go to the nearest sturdy building. Do not seek shelter in the mobile home’s bathroom or hallway.
• If caught outdoors, seek shelter in a vehicle. Buckle your seat belt and try driving to the nearest sturdy building. Keep your head down below the windows, if possible. If you can, drive to an area lower than the level of the roadway, exit the vehicle and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
For more tornado safety tips, visit the Red Cross online at www.RedCross.org.
Source: American Red Cross
Published with permission from RISMedia.