Disaster Prep Summer Series: It's a Twister!

Morning people!!

Today we are talking twisters!

Photo by Tuquetu

Tornadoes are defined as a mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotting winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.  The tricky thing about tornadoes is that you don't get much warning before they hit and its very difficult to predict where they will go so it is very important that you are prepared ahead of time for one.  They do come along with thunderstorms so when a thunderstorm starts you need to start paying attention to your local news channel for updates.  This is where it is important to know the difference between a watch and a warning.

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).

Before Tonado season:
Have a plan of where to go in your home during a tornadoe.  Find a room away from any doors and windows near the middle of the house on the ground floor.  If you have a celar, basement or saferoom, go there.  Mobile homes are not safe.
Practice that plan
Like with thunderstorms, have a list of loose items in your yard that need to be secured
Learn tordandoe signs.  Green clouds,  large hail without rain, funnel clouds, winds suddenly die down, etc.

Before a predicted sever thunderstorm:
Move all cars into the garage or under any available covers (not trees...duh)
Pull all potted plants into garage or under patio cover
Secure any items on your list of things that might blow away
Bring in all pets EVEN IF THEY HAVE A PET HOUSE OUTSIDE.  Bring them in period.  Pet houses or hutches are not built to withstand major weather.  If you wouldn't sit out the storm in it, don't expect your animal to.  Have a plan in place as well if you have larger livestock animals that need to be cared for.

During a storm:
If you need to take a bath or shower, do this before the storm gets bad.  Do you want to be standing in your storm safe room in a towel soaking wet?
Keep the TV or radio on for updates
Charge your electronics incase the power goes out (especially your cell phone)
If the power does go out, make sure you have your cell phone to watch for updates
Keep an ear out for the sirens.  Once they go off, move to your safe room.
If you are in your car, try and find a shelter even if you abandon your car.  Keep an eye out for concrete parking structures like parking garages at a mall or hospital.  You can even consider an overpass especially if there is hail.  Remember, your car is just a thing.  Insurance can replace it but it cannot replace you.  So if you need to leave it to make yourself and family safe, do it.

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Stay tuned for next week's Summer Series post!