Tornadoes have been portrayed in a number of movies since time immemorial and the motif is always the same – chaos and destruction.
Nobody wants to be in the path of a tornado. That would be the worst place to ever be. The problem is, nobody can really guess where a tornado goes.
So your best bet in a tornado lies in your preparation. If you have your tornado preparedness in check, you can be confident you can survive one.
Preparing for a Tornado Warning
While a tornado may be considered to be a destructive force, it is pretty straightforward. A tornado is mobile vortex of violently rotating wind that appears funnel shaped. Whatever isn’t planted properly on
the ground will be pulled in and around in the vortex. That’s the basic MO of a tornado.
So how do you combat this? How do you prepare for something that can literally raise and fling a small home? Here are some things you can do for your tornado preparedness.
1. Identify shelter locations – Most people who live in tornado prone areas know that if a tornado warning is given then you better run to a storm cellar. If you don’t have one, just choose a small interior room at the lowest floor possible.
a. Stay as far as possible from windows, doors, or outside walls.
b. As much as possible, stay at the center of the room. Corners are also dangerous as they attract debris.
c. Find a room that is sturdily built. Rooms made out of reinforced concrete or bricks with a heavy concrete floor and roof is best.
d. Auditoriums, gymnasiums, or cafeterias should be avoided. Their flat, wide-span roofs are dangerous.
2. Prepare a disaster kit – If a tornado hits, it will destroy everything. So don’t expect you can prepare a steak when a tornado hits your home. Prepare a disaster kit consisting of food, water, and other essentials. Flashlights, batteries, power banks, and important documents should also be included in your disaster kit. Place the bulk of your disaster kit inside your storm cellar or basement if you have any and prepare small kits for each of your family members.
3. Devise a communication protocol – Oftentimes, tornadoes cause power failure and network issues so you should talk to each of your family members to devise a way to contact each other in case a tornado hits.
4. Check your surroundings – You can lessen the potential damage of a tornado in your area by checking your direct environment and assessing potential hazards. Trimming large trees of dead branches and removing loose debris (such as GI sheets or wood signs) as they can get picked up by the tornado quite easily.
What to do During a Tornado
When you get a tornado warning, drop whatever you are doing and seek shelter right away. There is no way to know when a tornado will hit your exact location so just go and ensure your and your family’s safety first. While inside your shelter, tune in to your local emergency office for updates. Don’t ever go out of your shelter while there is still no “go signal” from the authorities.