Tornado Survival Tips

Tornado season is here and several cities around the country have already been devastated by twisters. Here are 10 things … Continued

With devastating tornadoes tearing through Texas, storm safety is weighing heavily on everyone’s mind. Right now it’s unclear how many people have been injured, but there is a severe amount of damage. And it’s likely that there are more big storms on the way this year. While you can’t control the weather, at least you can be prepared for it. Here are some things to do and some things not to do when the funnel clouds begin to form. Rowan2007
Keep an eye on the sky and an ear to the radio. When thunderstorms approach, turn on the radio and listen for tornado watch and warning announcements. A “watch” means that there is a threat of a tornado in the area and that you should continue to monitor the radio. A warning is far more serious, because it means that a tornado has been detected on radar and you should take immediate action to protect yourself. Natalie Kilpatrick
Get underground. The safest place in a tornado is a spot where shrapnel can’t get to you. A building above ground level is not always safe. Just look at the news coverage of the aftermath of a tornado and you’ll see that buildings can become piles of rubble that can bury their inhabitants.
The safest place is the lowest level of a building, but even if you are in the basement, you must position yourself properly. Stay away from windows and doors. Get to a location that will be protected from crumbling debris. An interior bathroom is among the safest places because it has no windows and is reinforced for the plumbing.
If possible before the tornado arrives, turn off the utilities to minimize the potential for electrical or natural gas (or propane) fire.
If you are outdoors and there is no building to provide shelter, look for a low spot to hunker down out of the path of flying debris. A ditch or, better yet, a culvert provides protection from wind-driven debris. However, be aware that low ground can be dangerous because tornadoes are often accompanied by heavy rain that can cause flash-flooding. Keep your head about you and be aware of the possibilities. If flooding occurs, be ready to abandon your shelter and seek higher ground. Jacii
Tornadoes are often accompanied by powerful hail storms that can pummel you with chunks of ice the size of baseballs. Such hail can severely injure or kill a person. If possible, find shelter that will protect against hail stones.
Remain in your shelter for a while after the tornado has passed. Listen to the weather radio for reports of other tornados in the area, because it is not uncommon for tornadoes to come in clusters. When exiting the shelter, be careful because there will be debris scattered over the area that can cause injury. Watch for broken glass, nails and other sharp objects, and downed power lines.
Do not take refuge inside a vehicle, because vehicles get tossed around like toys. You might as well drive your car out the back of a C-130 flying a couple hundred miles per hour a hundred feet off the ground and see what kind of a chance you have to live through the experience.
Do not take shelter under a bridge or highway overpass. The wind speed increases due to the Venturi effect as the tornado passes over a bridge or highway overpass.
Do not seek shelter in a mobile home or an RV. These seem to be a magnet for tornadoes, and they are easily ripped to shreds by the violent wind and blowing debris. Kristen Keys

Tornado season is here and several cities around the country have already been devastated by twisters. Here are 10 things you need to know to survive when a tornado hits.

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