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How to Stay Safe in a Tornado

April showers bring May flowers – and sometimes tornadoes. Storms are already starting to hit the east coast and are bringing tornadoes as a result. March is a good month to start preparing a plan and an emergency kit for extreme weather conditions. There is no guarantee for safety during a tornado but taking it seriously can help. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe this spring.

Create a plan. A plan should be put in place with your family in case of a tornado so protection can be reached quickly and efficiently. It is important to go over tornado safety with children and spouses. If there is an emergency and the only family member who knew the plan is not home, the rest of the people in the household may not know what to do, resulting in serious injury or death. If you have a tornado safety plan, be sure to relay that plan to everyone in the household.

Know where to take shelter. Flying debris causes most of the deaths and injuries during a tornado. There may not be any entirely safe spaces to stay, but there are a few locations in your home that are far more likely to withstand a chance in the storm than others. Basements or any indoor rooms on the lowest level of your home without windows are good spots to take shelter. It is also suggested to hide under something sturdy such as a heavy table or workbench, and cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress. Attempt to stay away from any windows and protect your head with anything available.

Have an emergency kit put together. Emergency kits should be placed in a space that is easily accessible for your household. The kit should have supplies such as fresh batteries, a flashlight, water, any medication, and non-perishable food. It is also suggested to have a battery-operated radio or device to listen to emergency weather information.

A tornado’s strength cannot be determined before it touches down, so keep up with weather information in your area. Intense thunderstorms can be an indicator or cause of tornadoes. Stay safe and alert during these storms in case they progress.

Resource: National Center for Environmental Health