Dallas, TX sees several tornadoes each year, some being deadly, with multiple fatalities and damage, while others are less intense. However, there’s never any certainty about the potential outcomes of a weather event as unpredictable and as violent as these, which is why it’s crucial that you remain alert.
For Dallas locals, these tornadoes are a part of everyday living, and many people have grown accustomed to them. However, if you’re unfamiliar, or still unsure about the best way to protect yourself and your family, keep these tips in mind:
1. Understand what tornado watches vs. warnings are
Tornado watches and warnings are observations by professional storm chasers and meteorologists, keeping an eye out on the weather.
A watch indicates the potential for a tornado form. This means you’re being alerted about a potential hurricane or supercell storm, as well as an indication that a tornado might form, signaling you to keep a close eye on the weather.
A warning signals that a tornado has been spotted, and you need to seek shelter and take precautions immediately. You should stop any activity you’re engaging in and try to access a safe space to hide out while the tornado passes.
2. Seek appropriate and safe shelter immediately
Seeking shelter is crucial during a tornado, which means if you have an underground bunker or garage shelter at home, you should head there with your family members and pets immediately.
If you’re unable to make it home in time and don’t have access to a proper shelter, find the lowest room, avoid windows and doors and lay low. Don’t take any chances or open doors and windows with the intent of equalizing air pressure.
3. Don’t stay in your car or remain exposed outdoors.
If you’re outdoors or on the road, park your car on the side and get out immediately. Don’t park or wait under an overpass; that’s incredibly dangerous. Instead, run indoors or drive into a ditch if you can, or as a last resort, get out and away from your vehicle, laying as low as possible and away from anything that can fly toward you.
4. Keep your storm safety shelter stocked and prepared.
Your at-home shelter should be stocked with supplies such as medicine and first-aid kits, flashlights, food and water, pet food, jackets, blankets, and other essential items that you may need.
Don’t wait till the warning or watch to prepare. Practice drills and protocols at home, too, including running in time, safety measures, helping special-needs and elderly family members, kids, and pets.