Few things are as frightening as being caught in a tornado. Tornadoes are among nature’s most violent and deadly storms. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
To prepare for a tornado, start by designating a meeting place for your family members or roommates. Your chosen location could be a basement, bathroom, closet, or inner hallway, and it should be on the lowest level of the building. Keep it free of clutter to prevent flying debris in the event of a tornado. If you live in a very tall building, it may be impossible to reach the bottom floor quickly. In such a situation, it is best to choose a meeting place in a hallway at the center of the building.
Create a disaster-supply kit. Be sure to include a complete first aid kit, canned food, and a can opener. You’ll also need a minimum of 3 gallons (11.3 liters) of water per person, a battery-powered radio, and a flashlight. Secure extra batteries as well. Additionally, you’ll need enough protective clothing and bedding for each of your family members or roommates.
If you wear corrective lenses, you may want to include them in your emergency kit. You should also include essential medications and special items required for the very young, elderly, or disabled members of your household. Assemble detailed instructions for shutting off the electricity, gas, and water, if necessary.
Periodic disaster drills can help you to prepare for a tornado. Such drills will keep your disaster plan fresh in the mind of your household members, helping to ensure that everyone remains well prepared. Pay attention to storm information provided by local television and radio stations.
Learning the difference between a tornado watch and a warning is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare for a tornado. A tornado watch warns you of the possibility of a tornado forming in your area. A tornado warning, on the other hand, warns that a tornado has formed and may enter your area. If there is a tornado warning, head to your designated meeting place without delay.
Often, individuals believe that only those living in tornado alley need to prepare for dangerous weather. This is not true, however, as a tornado can occur in any location. In fact, they’ve occurred in every part of the United States and can form in any season of the year. As such, it is wise to take the time to prepare for a tornado, no matter where you live.