Hollywood have been making movies about tornados for years – I mean even Dorothy got swept away in one in the Wizard of Oz, but there’s very real evidence these days that the “real thing” is happening more and more frequently, and there is a very real chance that your home will be in the firing line one day of one of the most violent storms in nature – a tornado. Tornadoes have been known to devastate entire neighborhoods in seconds killing and destroying anything which stands in their path. Yes, there’s a very real need to make sure that you, your house and your family are ready and are completely “tornado savvy”. Every single state in the US is at risk of tornadoes. You may get plenty of warning as some tornadoes are clearly visible across the horizon, others appear out of nowhere with no warning whatsoever.
If your TV or radio broadcasts a tornado warning then you need to act immediately, even if there are no obvious signs of one coming along anytime soon. If you are:
- Inside a building – make your way immediately to a pre-designated shelter area – a basement, storm cellar or some other safe room. If there isn’t a basement then you need to make your way to the bottom floor of the building and keep in the center of a room, stay away from exterior walls and windows. Make sure that all windows are closed and get yourself under a sturdy table or something similar.
- In a vehicle, a mobile home or trailer – get out as quickly as possible and make your way to the bottom floor of a sturdy building. Even if your mobile home is securely tied down it can offer little protection against the force of a tornado.
- Outside and far away from shelter – make your way to a low, flat location and lie flat on the ground covering your head with your hands. Don’t hide under bridges or overpasses. Don’t try to outrun a tornado, even if you’re in a vehicle, just get out of there and find somewhere safe to shelter.
Making Your Home Tornado Safe
Tornado Safety is very important and it’s always a good idea to have a safe room or shelter within your home. This means that your family can be safe and sheltered away from the storm – this area could be:
- in the basement – the number one choice, the greatest protection is offered from below ground rooms, but make sure that your basement is not prone to flooding as tornadoes generally follow storms and heavy rain
- an interior room on the first floor of your house (remember, keep away from external walls and windows)
- on the garage or foundation concrete floor
Remember that the safe haven you choose to protect your family from tornadoes must withstand high winds as well as falling debris and objects which have been picked up and are being thrown about by the wind.