Tornado Season and Emergency Preparedness

Tornado.

It seems that word can cause even the strongest of us to shiver. Tornados are a very common natural disaster. Too common it seems. In recent years, we have seen the devastation of what tornado’s can produce: the massive EF5 in Joplin  suffered greatly in 2011; Henryville, IN in 2012 was hit hard when a series of tornadoes tracked through the midwest;  and finally, in 2013, Moore, OK was devastated when a EF5, similar to the one that hit Joplin, leveled a large portion of the city.

Tornado season is from late April until early July, and while we hope for a quiet spring and summer season, we also want to be prepared in the event a tornado occurs. Here is a comprehensive readiness list in the event of a tornado:

Before:

  • Pack your Emergency Preparedness Kit
  • Battery powered radio
  • Battery powered flashlights
  • extra batteries
  • 5 bottles of water per person per day, ideally 3 days worth of water
  • First aid kit with prescription medicine
  • Phone chargers
  • Make this kit easily accessible (hall closet or garage)
  • Establish a Family Communication Plan, in the event you get separated from each other
  • Know the warning signs of a tornado
  • Know where the local shelters are in your area
  • Take shelter immediately when advised to

During:

  • Keep away from all doors and windows, and do not open windows
  • Go to the lowest, most interior room in your home or location
  • If in a car, never try to outrun a tornado. Instead leave your car, lay down in a ditch, get as low to the ground as possible, or, if able, drive to the nearest shelter
  • Sit against a wall or under a table, tuck your head in between your knees and use your hands to cover your head. If possible, use a blanket to cover yourself and small children.

After:

  • Check for injuries
  • Be careful entering or leaving any structure that has been hit
  • Stay away from down power lines
  • Follow all instructions from emergency and rescue personnel
  • Respond to requests for volunteers if you are able.

When traveling, familiarize yourself with your destinations safety protocols.

A bit of planning before hand will help you to weather the storm.

For more information on an Emergency Preparedness Kit, Family Communication Plan, more facts about tornadoes or any other natural disaster, visit www.ready.gov.

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