We are living in times where extreme weather of all kinds seems to be becoming more and more regular. Extreme weather is pretty scary, and the awesome power of the tornado to wreck homes and destroy people’s lives in a matter of minutes puts them high on the list of major natural disasters. There’s no way to guarantee the safety of your family and home if a tornado hits, but awareness and familiarity with tornado safety tips could make all the difference.
- Be alert. The more time you have to react the better your chances. We can’t all be great at reading the skies but we can all make a habit of attending to weather warnings. Installing a smartphone app is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re forewarned as much as possible. Most meteorological services have one that you can customize for warnings for your area.
- Mobile home owners should be especially aware and prepared. Though you’re generally better off in a building (rather than a vehicle), mobile home dwellers are advised by the experts to get out and get to somewhere more secure. We’ve all seen images on TV of how tornadoes shred mobile homes.
- If you’re caught in a vehicle, keep your seatbelt on. If you can, try to drive away from its path (at a right angle to its direction of travel). Sheltering under bridges is not recommended. They probably provide little or no protection and could create obstacles to vital rescue and emergency services gaining access.
- If you’re out in the open lie flat, face down, as far away as possible from trees, vehicles or structures that could hit you or be a source of flying debris.
- Understand the key dangers. The big killer when a tornado strikes is flying debris. The best place to be is a basement without windows. If you don’t have that, keep away from windows and make sure you have protective materials to hand (mattresses are ideal). Taking shelter under a sturdy table and covering yourself to minimize the havoc caused by flying debris should be a priority.
- One of the most important tornado safety tips is to remember that the danger isn’t confined to the moments when it hits. When it’s passed over it typically leaves a hazardous landscape.
- Beware of leaking gas and live power cables. Make sure you have a flashlight – lighting a candle could be lethal. Avoid puddles. Rubber boots will be useful for when you emerge from your emergency refuge. A battery powered radio will help you keep up with rescue developments and instructions. Make sure you have a first aid kit and the knowledge of how to use it.
Tornadoes are terrifying. Being prepared is top of the key tornado safety tips on every level –if you’re prepared you’ll be better equipped to stay calm and do the smart thing when disaster strikes.