According to NOAA, there is no certainty of safety during a tornado. EF5 level tornadoes can easily level and even blow away concrete structures. Most tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma are much weaker, and homeowners can ensure safety by following certain precautions. Here are three tips that will help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe during a tornado.
It’s best to prepare yourself with the following items as soon as you hear about a tornado
- A battery-operated radio along with some extra batteries to stay updated with weather conditions and important emergency notifications as internet and cellular networks tend to go down during extreme weather
- An emergency plan that includes access to a safe house or shelter for your family, pets, and yourself
- Individual Emergency kit for each person that includes food, water, and over-the-shelf medication
- Important information, including telephone numbers and identification cards
Counsel your children about what a tornado is, what parish or county they live in, what tornado warnings and watches are, and how to find safe shelter, whether at school or home.
Know the Weather Conditions
Paying attention to any change in weather conditions can protect you and your household from harm’s way. If you are expecting a thunderstorm in your area, stay connected to a local weather channel. However, tornadoes can strike so rapidly that in some instances, there isn’t any time for warnings. Following are some weather signs that may indicate a tornado.
- A dark sky
- A low-lying, large, dark cloud
- Loud roars from the sky that sound like a freight train
Take cover immediately if you notice any of these signs, and keep tuned to the local weather channel.
Know Where to Shelter
Flying and falling debris causes most injuries and deaths during a tornado. However, some places are much safer and can contain the damage done by tornadoes. Above-ground or underground shelters that are made following FEMA guidelines can help in keeping people safe under extreme weather. However, underground shelters can get buried under debris and fallen trees. This can make them inaccessible to people, or worse, trap people inside them. In contrast, above-ground shelters are easy to access and can withstand the weight and pressure of a 3,000-pound car.
If you live in Texas and Oklahoma, having a FEMA compliant shelter is highly advisable. US Safe Room Tornado Shelters provides above-ground shelters and safe rooms that are made following FEMA guidelines.