Tornado season typically occurs between April and June. However, tornadoes can and do occur throughout the year, so it's important to always be prepared.
The first step of tornado safety is to know the difference between a watch and a warning. These terms often confuse people. A watch usually comes before a warning and indicates weather conditions are ideal for the development of a tornado. A warning means a tornado has definitely formed and has been sighted.
What to do when a storm hits
- NEVER try to outrun a tornado. Tornadoes can change directions quickly.
- Take shelter inside a building immediately, if possible.
- ALWAYS get out and away from vehicles as tornadoes can easily lift and toss them around.
- Leave mobile homes and get to a safe place. Mobile homes, like vehicles, can be tossed around by heavy winds.
- Find the lowest point possible. Lie in a ditch, ravine, or low area or crouch near a strong building and cover your head and neck, if you cannot take shelter inside.
Where to go in a building
- Basement, cellar, or lowest level of the building
- Inner hallways or rooms without windows (bathrooms or closets)
- Center of the room
- Underneath sturdy furniture (workbench or heavy table)
Where to avoid in a building
- Corners of rooms, which tend to attract debris
- Areas of the house with heavy furniture/appliances on the floor directly above you
- Rooms with lots of windows
Regardless of your location during a tornado, it is crucial that you use your arms to protect your head and neck. Also, use a battery operated radio to monitor the news from your local radio station for emergency information.
Tornadoes often hit in groups, and it is possible that only one of many tornadoes has passed – make sure the storm is completely over before leaving shelter.
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