Do you have a plan in place in case of a weather emergency? Do you know what you  tornado? The Weather Channel has come up with a list of what to do when preparing  for, during and after a tornado.

BEWARE OF HOW, WHEN AND WHERE TORNADOES STRIKE

  • Tornadoes can and do occur in every state in the country.
  • Tornadoes usually accompany thunderstorms, but not always.
  • A tornado may follow sunshine or be totally enshrouded in heavy rain.
  • Sometimes the air is eerily calm before a tornado hits; in other cases it is preceded by strong, gusty winds.
  • Large hail and tornadoes can be produced by the same thunderstorms. However, many hailstorms are not accompanied by tornadoes, and vice versa.
  • Tornadoes assume a variety of sizes and shapes, from the traditional Wizard of Oz-like funnel to snake-like “multiple vortices.” They can also assume a drawn-out rope shape or a wide, churning, “smoky” appearance.
  • The sound of a tornado has been compared to a freight train or jet engine, but there is no guarantee that you will hear such a noise before it strikes.

PREPARE AND TAKE ACTION

Although there is an advance warning period, be aware that tornadoes can change direction, speed and intensity quickly. Make a plan to prepare and protect the people and things you value before severe weather strikes.

  • Take a photograph of your valuables and store them in a waterproof/fire resistant safe deposit box.
  • Assemble a Family Disaster Kit.
  • Depending on your location, you might be told to evacuate before a warning or even a watch is issued. Notify someone unaffected by the storm as to your whereabouts.
  • Familiarize yourself with school or workplace emergency action plans and identify appropriate officials in command during an emergency.
  • Make sure to charge your mobile phone, laptop and other mobile device batteries.

After the tornado:

  • Stay away from downed power lines, and be sure to report them to your utility company.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings.
  • Evacuate if you smell fumes or gas and notify emergency personnel.
  • Do not run a gasoline-powered generator indoors.

WHAT TO DO IF THERE IS A TORNADO WARNING

In a frame home:

  • Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway, a smaller interior room or a closet. Keep away from all windows.
  • Get updates on TV from The Weather Channel, online at weather.com, or The Weather Channel mobile web and mobile apps.
  • Keep your Family Disaster Kit with you.
  • Make sure a battery-powered radio and spare batteries are nearby in case of power outage.
  • Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier.
  • Cushion yourself with a mattress, but do not use one to cover up. Cover your head and eyes with a blanket to protect against flying debris and broken glass.
  • Be aware that multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.
  • Do not leave your shelter until the tornado warning expires.
  • Obey advisories promptly.

In a mobile home:

Outside:

  • Seek shelter indoors, in a protected space with no windows.
  • If you cannot get inside, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

In a car:

  • Drive away from the tornado if time and roads permit.
  • If the tornado is imminent, get out of the car and into a sturdy building or ditch, away from the car.

In a school, workplace, or other building:

  • Evacuate portable classrooms.
  • Move students into interior hallways, small interior rooms, or stairways on the lowest level.
  • Avoid using gymnasiums, auditoriums or other large, open-space areas.

(List was prepared by http://bereadyweather.com/tornadoes)

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