Tornados are no joke. They form quickly and can plow through whole communities in a matter of minutes, destroying everything in their path. It can be terrifying to hear that blaring siren, so it’s important to know ahead of time what to do when you hear it so you can make smart choices as to how to react.
Know the weather
Keep an eye on the weather in your area daily. Download a reliable weather app that will give you alerts for severe weather warning, but also check the weather regularly so you know when to anticipate a tornado.
Know your area
Be aware of the places you normally spend your time, and what you would do if you heard a tornado siren while you were there. Think about your home, work, gym, favorite restaurant, etc., and if you could quickly and safely get to shelter if you were to hear the warning.
Understand what “shelter” means
Tornado warnings come with serious instructions to “take shelter”, so understand what this means. For a tornado, you want to get underground if possible, so a basement or actual storm shelter is best. If you do not have access to an underground shelter, get away from windows, as protected as you can. Get to the lowest point you can, inside something like a bathtub or closet, for instance. In both homes and public buildings, bathrooms will often be your safest choice, especially if they are in the center of the building.
If you live in a mobile home, find somewhere else to shelter. They are not secure during a tornado. If you are driving, get out of your car and shelter in the nearest building; cars are also not safe during a tornado and can get carried away.
Get yourself some essential supplies in case of tornado. The prudent basics for any emergency are always recommended; clean drinking water, basic first aid supplies, blankets, non-perishable food, etc. But a whistle and a battery-operated radio are also crucial. In the case of a whistle, if you end up trapped under debris during the volcano you can alert someone to your location, and in the case of a radio you can keep up with warnings and safety instructions from local authorities if the power is out or cell towers are down.
Tornadoes are a reality in many parts of the United States, and one of the most unpredictable natural disasters. If you fear them in your area, smarten up and plot out your plan for survival now so you can react intelligently when an alarm sounds.
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