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Tornado Safety: Staying Safe During the Storm

by: Elizabeth|June 24th, 2015

Current Events

Summer is upon us and tis the season for Tornados! It seems 2015 is quite the year for these powerful storms already. Do you and your loved ones know what to do if a tornado hits your town?

If You’re in a Building

  • Take shelter in the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don’t have a basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room or a closet.
  • Keep away from all windows and glass in general.
  • If you’re in a building such as a church, hospital, school or office building, go to the innermost part of the building on the lowest floor. Do not use elevators because the power may fail, leaving you trapped.
  • Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
  • Make sure pets are saf too! Keep them on a leash or in a crate or carrier.
  • Stay inside until you’re certain the storm has passed, as more than one tornado can come from the same storm.

If You’re Outside

  • Try to get inside as fast as you can and find a small, protected space away from windows.
  • If you cannot find a place to go inside, crouch for protection next to a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a jacket, if you have one.

If You’re in a Car

  • If you can drive away from the tornado safely, do it!
  • If there is a sturdy structure near by, go inside.
  • A long-standing safety rule has been to get out of the car and into a ditch.   If you do that, you should get far enough away from the car so it doesn’t roll or blow onto you.
  • Do NOT get out of a vehicle and climb up under the embankment of a bridge or overpass.   This will increases your risk.

Terms

Lots of times we hear these terms on the news but have no clue what they mean! Get educated on your storm vocabulary. The National Whether Service can issue one or more of the following.

 

  • Severe thunderstorm watch: Conditions are conducive to the development of severe thunderstorms in and around the watch area. These storms produce hail of ¾ inch in diameter and/or wind gusts of at least 58 mph.
  • Severe thunderstorm warning: Issued when a severe thunderstorm has been observed by spotters or indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. These warnings usually last for a period of 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Tornado watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and multiple tornadoes in and around the watch area. People in the affected areas are encouraged to be vigilant in preparation for severe weather.
  • Tornado warning: Spotters have sighted a tornado or one has been indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. When a tornado warning has been issued, people in the affected area are strongly encouraged to take cover immediately.

For more information visit http://www.weather.com/

 

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