As always, the time to prepare for something like a tornado is long before you’d have to actually deal with one. Taking the time today to learn how to survive a tornado and to stock up on any needed emergency supplies could make the difference between life and death. In the US, tornadoes touch down around a thousand times each year, costing lives and millions of dollars in property damage. Surviving a tornado is possible—if you’re prepared.
#1 Watch vs. Warning
It’s important to know the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. A watch is a general alert that indicates conditions in the affected are conducive to the formation of a tornado, and that everyone in the watch area should be prepared for the possibility of a tornado appearing. A warning is issued after a tornado forms and has either been spotted by observers or appears on weather radar.
#2 Have a Designated Shelter
Whether it’s a safe room, a reinforced room in a basement, or some other shelter that has a reasonable chance of surviving a tornado touch down, a designated shelter could make all the difference.
#3 Keep Emergency Supplies on Hand
Keep your shelter stocked with items that will help you make it through the storm. You’ll want to have a first aid kit, a loud whistle or air horn you can use to signal rescuers, sufficient food, water, and medication to last for a few days, a flashlight, and a radio that is either battery-powered or crank-operated.
#4 Avoid Windows
Tornadoes create incredibly high winds and low pressure, and if a tornado passes anywhere near your home, it will generally go first to your windows. Flying debris—especially glass—is one of the most common causes of injury during tornado events. To avoid this, stay well clear of any windows.
#5 Seek Shelter Immediately
As soon as a tornado warning is issued for your area, move to your shelter, or to the most protected interior room on the lowest floor of your house. It’s also a good idea to use things like blankets or mattresses to protect against flying debris.
#6 If Outside During a Tornado
If you are outdoors and can’t reach a shelter, immediately move to the lowest area you can find, like a ditch or a culvert. Protect your head with your arms.
#7 If in a Vehicle During a Tornado
If in a vehicle when a tornado hits, you may be able to avoid it by driving at right angles to its path. If possible, park well off of the road and seek better shelter immediately.
To your survival,