Tornado season has yet again swept upon the spring months. Are you and your family prepared?
First, let’s go over the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning: A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes whereas a tornado warning is an alert issued by weather services to warn that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes may be imminent. Most of the time when a tornado warning is issued, it means that a funnel cloud or tornado has been spotted.
It’s important to be smart in such a situation. Yes, some of us may want to mimic Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Paxton in the hit movie Twister and chase down a tornado, but let’s be serious, that can get really dangerous, really fast. Note to self: If a tornado seems to be standing still then it’s either traveling away from you or headed right for you.
Learn to listen for sirens. This could be life-saving. Sometimes you may not be able to hear the sirens in enough time or even hear them at all; so have your TV tuned into the local news channel or your radio turned onto the news station. You can also visit National Weather Service for local warnings and statements on what is going on in your area.
Go ahead and get a tornado emergency kit together. This should include plenty of bottled water, canned food items, flashlights, batteries, extra gasoline, fire extinguisher, first aid kit and cash. Set these items in the place you and your family will go to seek shelter.
Seek shelter. If your home does not have a basement, then go to the lowest level of your home if it is more than one story tall and lay under a sturdy desk or plop down in the bathtub. Protect your head and body from falling debris by covering yourself with a thick padding, such as a mattress or duvet comforter (or take something we all have learned from tornado drills at school: crouching in front of the lockers with a book covering our heads).
An important tip to remember: when you take cover, it’s important to bring something that comforts both you, your pets and your children (such as your child’s favorite toy or your dog’s bed).
Although nothing can be done to prevent a tornado, certain precautions can help in saving your life and those closest to you. Knowing what to do during a tornado is vital to lives all across the world. Facing high winds and hazards such as flying debris is possible during tornadoes; and in taking precautions, you’re able to help save many lives around you. Get prepared, be safe and most importantly, be smart.
Brittany Bugg is a hottytoddy.com staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.