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  • Tornado Preparation
    • Have storm shutters installed on all the windows of your home.
    • Have a roofing contractor make sure that your roof and gutters are attached firmly to your home
    • Have any dead or diseased trees completely removed.
    • During any storm, listen to local news or weather radio to stay informed about watches and warnings.
    • Know your community’s warning system.
    • Pick a ‘safe room’ in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado.
    • Have the walls and ceiling joists reinforced in your safe room.
    • Practice periodic tornado drills.
    • Consider having your ‘safe room’ reinforced.
    • Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
    • Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
    • Watch for tornado danger signs: dark, often greenish clouds, wall cloud, cloud of debris, large hail, funnel cloud or roaring noise.
  • When a Tornado is Threatening
    • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement, or safe room.
    • Remember that mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes.
    • Abandon mobile homes immediately.
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.
    • Do not wait until you see the tornado.
    • Go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately.
    • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter, or sturdy building.
    • If you cannot get to shelter, get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt, and try to drive at right angles to the storm movement and out of the path.
    • If strong winds and flying debris occur while you are driving, pull over and park, keeping seat belts on and the engine running.
    • If you are unable to get to a building or vehicle, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area and cover your head with your hands.
    • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
  • After a Tornado
    • Continue listening to weather radio for updated information and instructions.
    • Return to home only when authorities say it is safe.
    • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining home for damage.
    • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines.
    • Stay out of damaged buildings.
    • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly.
    • Take pictures of damage.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
    • Keep all of your animals under your direct control.
    • Check for injuries.
    • If you are trained, provide first aid to persons in need.
Tornado Checklist
  John F. Smith


on January 2, 2012

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