How to prepare for and survive a tornado

Written by: Admin, | 07th February 2013 | Comment(s)

Tornadoes can occur with little warning. Here are tips to help you prepare and survive in case disaster strikes.

Watch vs. warning:

  •  A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes to develop.
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted. A warning is the more serious of the two; take shelter immediately.
  • Some signs that signal an approaching tornado include: a dark or greenish sky, large hailstones and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train.

Plan ahead:

  •  Secure furniture with brackets or eyebolts, arrange chairs and beds away from windows, and place large or heavy items on low shelves.
  •  Assemble a first-aid kit and emergency supplies, including water, non-perishable food, a flashlight with extra batteries and a portable radio.
  • Make copies of essential documents, such as IDs, insurance policies and financial records.
  • Know how to turn off the gas, water and electricity in your home.

During a tornado:

  • Find shelter, preferably a basement or other underground, windowless space. If a basement isn’t available, go to a room with no windows on the lowest level of the building.
  • Avoid windows.
  •  Use a heavy blanket or sleeping bag to protect your body and body from debris. Head injuries are a common cause of death during tornadoes; helmets can provide extra protection but are not an alternative to shelter.
  • If outdoors or in a moving vehicle, try to find shelter indoors or in a ditch. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. Lie flat and cover your head with your arms.

After a tornado:

  • Check for injuries and damage that require immediate attention.
  • Use your portable or car radio for additional information and safety advisories. Use the telephone for emergencies only.
  • Contact your insurance provider to report damage and begin the claims process.
  • Use caution during rescue attempts and cleanup. Wear sturdy shoes, and be aware of hazards such as exposed nails, broken glass, down power lines.
  • Anxiety and fear are common in the days, weeks and months following the tornado. Monitor yourself and others, especially children, and seek professional help if anxiety disrupts daily activities.

Original article posted at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-to-prepare-for-and-survive-a-tornado/2013/02/07/ae5e97c0-7140-11e2-a050-b83a7b35c4b5_story.html