- It is important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning:
- A watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. If you are in a watch area, you need to be ready to take immediate cover in the event the watch turns into a warning.
- A warning means that a tornado is imminent and you should take immediate cover.
- The safest place to be is in a basement under something sturdy, such as a large table. If no basement is available, seek shelter in a small interior room, such as a closet or bathroom. STAY AWAY FROM OUTER WALLS AND WINDOWS!
- It was once thought- opening windows to equalize the pressure were helpful. However, it does not help. Don’t worry about the windows. Protect yourself. Flying glass is a real hazard.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. Tornados are unpredictable. They can and do change directions, which could trap you if you are in your car. If you get caught in your car, and the tornado is close, exit the vehicle and lie in a ditch or depression. Cover your head with your hands.
- Mobile homes are NOT safer is tied down. In fact, mobile homes are NEVER safe in a violent windstorm such as a tornado. You should leave your mobile home and go to a safe shelter if a tornado watch has been announced.
Listed below are a few of the things each of us can do to better prepare ourselves in the event of a tornado. This is not a complete list, as there are and can be many variables, however, this list will go a long way towards maintaining your safety.
- Know your communities warning signals, i.e., sirens, weather radios, etc.
- Establish family tornado drills. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with what to do in the event of a warning.
- Choose two safe meeting areas. If one is damaged or you are unable to get to the first place, move to the prearranged second location.
- Have an out-of-state family contact. If the family is separated, everyone should know to contact that out-of-state member to verify everyone’s safety.
- Keep your records and inventories in a safe place. It is too late to gather those items when the siren is sounding.
- Be sure to keep your insurance current and up to date. Be sure your coverage is where it needs to be.