Know What To Do BEFORE the Storm Strikes!
Survivng a severe storm often depends greatly on how prepared you are when the storm strikes. It is crucial to have a safety plan in place early, and to practice that plan when the weather is calm. If you are well prepared, then you can take action at a moment's notice and save your life as well as the lives of those around you.
A Tornado Watch means tornadoes may develop within the next several hours. Keep an eye to the sky and have your NOAA Weather Radio handy.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been reported or indicated by radar, and you must seek safe shelter AT ONCE!
- If possible, shelter in a basement under a sturdy table or beneath the stairs. Do not worry about getting in the southwest corner.
- If no basement is available, find the lowest spot closest to the middle of the structure, away from windows. Interior closets and windowless bathrooms are good choices.
- If in a mobile home, evacuate the home for a proper shelter if possible. When there is a good chance of severe weather, it is best to leave the mobile home as early as possible before the storms arrive. Mobile homes, even if they are tied down, offer no protection from even weak tornadoes.
- Stay away from windows! Do not worry about opening a window to "equalize the pressure." Flying glass can be deadly.
- Leave large rooms such as gymnasiums or cafeterias. A nearby windowless restroom or interior hallway would be a safer choice.
- If out in the open, get to a sturdy shelter as quickly as possible. If it is too late to get into a building, lie down in the lowest spot you can find and cover your head with your hands.
- If you are in your vehicle in open country, lie down in a ditch away from the vehicle, and cover your head with your hands. If in a vehicle in an urban setting, seek shelter in a nearby building. If it is impossible to leave the car, get down as far as you can beneath the level of the windows and cover your head.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means tornadoes may develop within the next several hours. Keep an eye to the sky and have your NOAA Weather Radio handy. A severe thunderstorm produces hail at least an inch in diameter, winds of 58 mph or more, or a tornado.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a severe thunderstorm has been reported or indicated by radar, and you must seek safe shelter AT ONCE! Severe thunderstorms should be taken just as seriously as tornadoes!
- Seek shelter indoors away from windows
- Refrain from using land line phones
- Avoid using electrical appliances
- Be prepared for the possibility of a blackout
- Mobile homes offer very little protection from a severe storm, even if they are tied down. Seek shelter elsewhere as far in advance of the storm as possible.
- If swimming or in a boat, leave the water well in advance of the storm
- If outside, such as on a golf course, seek shelter indoors. If appropriate shelter is unavailable, crouch down into a ball in the lowest spot you can find away from trees.
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