Tornado Emergency Preparedness Tips

Tornados are some of the hardest natural disasters to prepare for because they often strike fairly unexpectedly and very quickly. Unlike hurricanes and snow storms you don’t see them coming with several days of warning. Because of this it is very important that you are prepared at all times if you live in an area that’s prone to tornadoes.

Makes Sure You Are Prepared Ahead Of Time

Things will move fast when a tornado hits. You won’t have a lot of time to plan and prepare. The more you can get done well ahead of time, the better. Start by determining the shelter in place areas to get though the storm. Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Basements are ideal, otherwise, stay on the lowest floor possible and put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

Once you’ve figured out your shelter in place locations, prepare a small emergency kit that includes things like a flashlight, weather radio, a whistle and some bottled water and food. A first aid kit is also a good addition. Keep this kit in your safe room, or have it easily accessible by ach teacher.

Now is also a good time to create an emergency contact plan. Make sure you have up to date phone numbers for your children’s families accessible at all times, and practice taking them with during drills.

Pay Attention When Weather Conditions Are Favorable For Tornadoes

Pay close attention to the news, emergency services, warning sirens and the like, when weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes. During a tornado watch tornadoes are possible. If a tornado warning is issued, a tornado has been observed either in person or via radar. Take shelter immediately until the danger passes.

If you are outside, you’ll notice a very dark sky with almost greenish undertones. Tornadoes often come along with dark, low clouds and large hail. If you hear a loud noise that sounds like an incoming train or if you see a spinning cloud formation heading your way, take shelter immediately. The same holds true if you hear tornado sirens.

Find A Safe Place To Wait It Out

If you are at the center, head to your designated safe spot. If you are in a different building, find the safest spot you can using the same criteria as mentioned above. If you are outside, seek shelter if possible. Avoid bridges and overpasses. If you can’t find a sturdy building to get into, find a low spot and cover your head with your arms and anything else you have like a blanket or jacket.