Tornado Safety Rules

You awake to the sound of rain slashing against the bedroom windows.  Suddenly, the screaming wail of the tornado warning siren sounds in the night.  Are you prepared?  The actions that you take in the next few moments might save your life and the lives of your loved ones.  The following tornado safety rules are essential survival tips to getting through a tornado.

 

Plan

 

Survival experts recommend that you make a tornado plan for your family.  Determine the safest spot in your home and have your family practice going to that location in a tornado drill.  Put together a supply kit that includes a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid supplies, and bottled water.  

 

Watch the Weather

 

Tornadoes form in supercell thunderstorms.  These powerful storms have fierce wind, hail, and rain.  The difference between a supercell thunderstorm and other storms is that the supercell has a strong updraft which causes the storm to rotate.  Sometimes, for reasons that remain unclear to scientists, the supercell thunderstorm form tornadoes.

 

Tornadoes are most likely to form during the spring and summer months as warm and cold air collides.  So, the first tornado safety rule is to keep an eye on the weather.  Watching the weather is especially crucial if there are thunderstorms in your area.  

 

Heed Tornado Watches & Warnings

 

If the weather service issues a tornado watch it means that conditions are favorable for the formation of a twister.  In general, this says that there are violent supercell thunderstorms in the area.  Pay attention to the weather and all official weather information.  A tornado warning means that a tornado is on the ground.  If the tornado warning siren is engaged, you must take immediate action.

 

Seek Shelter

 

As soon as you hear the siren, you must move to the lowest part of the building.  If you have a basement, go to the basement.  If not, go to the lowest level of the building and take cover in an interior room without windows. The goal is to put as many walls as possible between you and the tornado.  Do not leave your house if a tornado siren is blaring in your neighborhood.  At this point, any structure is safer than being outdoors or in a car.

 

Cover Your Head

 

Countless numbers of school children practice tornado drills each year.  One of the most valuable things that the children learn is to duck and cover during the tornado.  In the event of a twister striking your home, there will be a massive amount of debris flying in the air.  Suddenly,  household objects become potential killers.  Your survival depends on your ability to protect your head from debris impact.  Get underneath a substantial piece of furniture if possible.  If not,  crouch low to the ground and put your arms on top of your head.

 

Tornados are frightening experiences.  Each year, they form and carry out their destructive paths throughout the United States.  You can’t keep one from striking your home, but, you can prepare to increase your chances of survival.