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How to Receive Information

There are several methods of receiving severe weather information. NOAA weather Radio operated commercial-free by the National Weather Service, provides continuous weather information 24 hours a day. When severe weather threatens, regular programming is interrupted to provide information of threatening weather in the local area. Some weather radios (and these are recommended) can be automatically activated by the local NWS office before severe weather information is broadcast.

In addition, a cable television service, called the Weather Channel, and your local television and radio stations are excellent sources of severe weather information
How to Receive Information
NOAA Weather Radio

An excellent way to receive the latest NWS warnings and watches (even before the local media) is by listening to NOAA Weather Radio.

Information is also avialable via local media

Information is also available on local television and radio stations, in addition to cable outlets.

Tornado Safety

It is important to have a plan of action in the event a tornado threatens your family, and to rehearse that plan frequently. Such a plan should include what you and your family should do when at home, work, school, or outdoors. the time spent planning now could determine whether or not you survive a tornado.

Know the county or parish in which you live. Severe weather warnings are issued for counties/parishes, or for portions of counties and parishes (I.e. southern Fayette county). By keeping a highway roadmap nearby, you can follow storm movements and better determine if you are threatened.

Have a NOAA Weather Radio handy at all times. Make sure your model has an alarm tone which will be activated when warnings or watches are issued for your area. If you are planning to be outdoors for an extended period of time, keep up with the latest weather information from your local National Weather Service office.
Tornado Safety
Hiding in the Closet In a home or a building, move to a pre-designated shelter, preferably the basement or the lowest floor of your home. Don't worry about opening your windows first, just get to the basement, and get under a sturdy piece of furniture or workbench. Grab blankets to cover yourself with, which will protect you from flying debris. (NOAA/NWS)

If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and crouch down close to the floor. Again, grab extra blankets to protect yourself from flying debris. Stay away from windows.

If caught outdoors, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression, and cover your head with your hands and arms. However, KEEP AN EYE on the water levels in the ditch or depression, as those are the first things that fill up with the excess rainfall.
This is an underground storm shelter in which an elderly couple sought refuge from a tornado in Ratliff City, Oklahoma. The demolished home is visible in the background. However, notice the kitchen table still standing. (Bill Bunting, NWS) Tornado Damage
Mobile Home Damage

Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned immediately for a reinforced shelter or storm cellar, of if none are available, seek a nearby ditch or depression. (Jim Campbell, NWS)

Automobile Damage

Get out of automobiles. Tornadoes can be quite unpredictable, and can move much faster than your car. Never try to outrun a tornado! If you are in your vehicle and see a tornado, leave it immediately. Get inside a sturdy shelter or storm cellar, or if none available, seek a nearby ditch or depression. (Gene Rhoden)

Tornado Damage Tornado damage to a poorly anchored home. (Jim Campbell, NWS) Note that the home itself has survived the strong winds relatively intact. However, because of poor anchoring of the walls to the foundation, the house was literally swept off its foundation, and toppled upside down.

Many people are involved in the effort to provide advance warning before a tornado strikes. Sophisticated technological tools, NWS forecasters, the media, and spotter and public safety groups have developed a system to provide information to alert YOU to dangerous weather conditions. In order for the system to work though, YOU must take the time to understand severe weather safety rules, learn to identify environmental clues to approaching danger, and plan in advance what actions you will take if a warning is issued for your area or if threatening weather is sighted. The decision to do this may be the most important one you will ever make!

'Tornadoes: Nature's Most Violent Storms' was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) in cooperation with the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is designed to assist in heightening public awareness and understanding the dangers associated with tornadoes. The package provides an introduction to tornadoes and their impact, discusses tornado development and occurrence, and describes safety information for homes, schools, places of work, and outdoors. In addition, basic environmental clues are presented.

Individual use of the pictures within these presentation must have prior approval from the credited source.

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