A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the base of cumulus cloud and Earth. Tornadoes are violent: they can uproot trees, destroy well-made structures, and hurl objects through the air.
Tornadoes are common in North America and Southern Africa, southern and western Australia, southern South America, Bangladesh, southeast and northwestern Europe but they can occur anywhere. Tornadoes can be detected as they occur (or before) using Pulse-Doppler radar.
Here is how to protect your loved ones from this natural disaster.
Before the Tornado
1. Discuss a plan
Make sure everyone knows where to go, how to be safe and what to take with him or her. Everyone should know who to contact in case of emergency. If you’re in a danger zone know the safest place you can be such as schools, city buildings, and community centers. Also, make sure that everyone knows how to get in contact with everyone else.
2. Store Important Documents
Make copies of insurance information, birth certificates, social security cards and other important documents you will need to evacuate with. This helps if you aren’t able to get home immediately after the tornado.
3. Create an Emergency Kit
Your emergency kit should include food and water that can take you for more than 72 hours. First aid supplies, means of communication, flashlights, clothing, and toiletries should not be missing in your emergency kit.
4. Designate a Safe Room
Interior rooms, garage, basements and other places with no windows on the first floor. The storms can be accompanied by water making the ground floor rooms unsafe. The safe room should also be strong enough to withstand the flying debris that comes in contact with it and anchored to the ground to avoid being uplifted by the wind.
5. Arrange Household Items
Furniture should be moved away from glass and windows. Use eye bolts to secure large furniture to the wall. Any item that can move during the storm should be secured or moved away from your family.
During Tornado Warning and Watches
6. Stay Informed
Knowing the signs of tornadoes is good but don’t wait until you see the signs to start planning, rely on local TV and radio stations. Find a website that will provide you with the real-time look of the storm cell in your area. Find out if there is a tornado siren in your community and how it sounds like. Seek shelter immediately when you get alerted or when you see the tornadoes signs.
If you’re in an open field run to the closest ground and hide your head. Don’t hide under overpass or bridges. If you’re in a car drive it to a safe place and make sure to keep your seat belt on.
Wait until you’re sure the storm has passed before leaving your shelter. Don’t get out while debris is still moving on the ground or in the air.
Image Credit: Image by jplenio on Pixabay
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