Tornado season is blowing in. Across much of the midwestern United States, families are taking the steps to prepare themselves against high winds and unexpected weather. Follow these tornado safety tips to protect yourself against this natural disaster.
Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning
While they may sound the same, there’s a big difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. During tornado season, it is crucial to know the difference between the two, and know how to react at each one:
- Tornado watch – this means there is a possibility of tornadoes in the area. It’s time to ensure your emergency plans and supplies are ready for when you need them in your safe room. Watch for a further warning and be ready to act should it come.
- Tornado warning – a warning indicates a tornado is making it’s way to the area and the danger is close. Immediately get to the safe room. There is little time to react in these situations.
Know the difference in these situations, and how to react in each.
How to Prepare for a Tornado
Before it gets to the point of tornado watch or warning, there are preparation steps that must be taken first. Properly prepare for a tornado before it hits your area to lessen the impact it has on you:
- Know how to identify the signs of changing weather. It’s essential to keep up to date with the radio and tv, but recognizing these signs as well will help.
- Have an emergency kit put together. This will be vital. There should be a kit for every member of your family including water, food, extra clothing, blankets, and medical supplies.
- Take shelter indoors. You don’t want to be caught outside during a tornado. A basement is the best place to go but if your home doesn’t have one, get into an interior room on the first floor or in a hallway.
- Keep away from windows.
- Stay out of mobile homes and automobiles. These offer little if any protection from tornado winds.
- Board up your windows. Prevent glass from breaking by first boarding up the windows.
- If you are caught outside, lay down in an area as low to the ground as possible. Wait here for the storm to pass.
Tornadoes are dangerous, but with the right preparation, you can better keep yourself safe. Not only is it important to prepare, you must stay aware during tornado season, tracking both tornado watches and tornado warnings. Tornado preparedness is vital to those living in the Midwestern part of the United States.