Tornadoes are one of the most common weather disasters in the United States and in recent years they have been on the rise. Even if you do not live in tornado alley that does not mean that a tornado cannot strike in your area. In fact, there are often tornadoes where they have never known to occur before. To ensure that you and your family are safe if one does threaten to touch down you should read the information that follows. It could save your life.
The first step is to be sure that you have an app on your phone that will alert you of threats of severe weather. They are often free to download and easy to find. Having this app will allow you to be one step ahead of the storm and take cover in the time allotted by the warning. These warnings will usually give you a pretty good idea of the time that the threat will last as well as where it is expected to travel.
The next step is to make a plan with all of your family members about how to proceed is there is a tornado warning. Being on the same page reduces the chances that someone will be stuck in an unsafe space, or that one family member will be putting them at risk trying to find the location of another. Talk about many scenarios that reflect situations that commonly occur during your daily life. For example, what will be done if you are traveling, at work or school, at a sports activity or anything else that your family often participates in. Just having this dialogue will go a long way to reduce the panic that can cause confusion in an emergency.
When considering a possible tornado when everyone is home the first thing to do is to determine where the best place to seek shelter is. If your home has a basement, that is the safest place for everyone to go. If there is a table, that is a great option to seek shelter under. A mattress is also good as it can reduce trauma if something does collapse. You will want to have blankets in this area so that everyone can cover up to reduce the risk of cuts from flying debris.
If you do not have a basement you will want to seek shelter in a small space on the lowest floor in the home. Some good options include closets or a bathroom. Again, you want to cover everyone the best that you can to reduce injury, but do not spend time looking for anything if it is not handy.
If you reside in a mobile home it is time to evacuate immediately. A mobile home simply cannot withstand the winds that come with a tornado. This is true no matter how well you feel the home has been tied down. Your plan must be to seek shelter at the closest emergency shelter in your area.
If you happen to be driving when a tornado strikes the last thing that you should do is seek shelter is under an overpass. It is a myth that this will keep you safe. In reality, the winds are increased and create a suctioning effect that will pull you out.
Additionally, if the overpass were to collapse you will almost surely be killed. Your chances are much better if you are able to drive out of the path of the tornado. You want to drive at right angles to the path in which it is coming at you. If you find that you get stuck in the flying debris that will make it almost impossible to see you need to pull over immediately. Make sure your seat belt is on and duck your head as low as possible to reduce the risk of being cut by glass.
Being in the path of a tornado is one of the riskiest situations that you can be in. Surviving will have a lot to do with having plans in place and educating those that you care about. Use these tips to increase the chances that if you ever are in that situation you will survive.