Apr 28, 2011
Last night dozens of tornadoes swept through Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee. Hundreds lost their lives in the wake of the storm and hundreds more suffered damage to their homes and farms. Tornado safety is always important but during this season of high storm activity, it deserves to be front of mind. Here are some tips from the Western Reserve Group of Ohio.
D - Go DOWN to the lowest level
U - Get UNDER something
C - COVER your head
K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed
Take responsibility for your safety and be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan to respond to tornado watches and warnings. Conduct regular tornado drills. When a tornado watch is issued, review your plan – don't wait for the watch to become a warning. Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
Despite Doppler radar, tornadoes can sometimes occur without any warning, allowing very little time to act. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings.
NOAA Weather Radio has available an alerting tool for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Some weather radio receivers can be connected to an existing home security system, much the same as a doorbell, smoke detector or other sensor. For additional information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/special_need.htm.
The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.
Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building's lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
If you're outside or in mobile home, find shelter immediately by going to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.
Our thoughts and sympathies go out to those families and farms affected by last nights storms. Stay safe!