Tornado season safety

As Shelby County enters tornado season, which runs from March through June, we here at the Reporter wanted to pass on a few tornado safety tips. Thankfully, the tornado that touched down in Chelsea did minimal damage, but we might not be so lucky with the next twister.

The Shelby County EMA has these guidelines for tornado safety. For more information, look online at www.shelbyal.com.

—Always look and listen for large hail, heavy rain, strong winds and frequent, intense lightning.

—Seek safe shelter, in a basement if at all possible. Otherwise, choose ground-floor, center rooms that are surrounded by other rooms. Don’t ever stay upstairs, because tornadic wind speeds increase with height above the ground. Choose a small closet or bathroom, because small rooms are less likely to collapse.

—Keep a portable TV/radio and flashlight in your shelter or safe room.

—Wear shoes in case of broken glass and other debris left by the storm.

—Protect your head and chest — crouch down, keep your face to the floor and put your hands behind your head.

—Cover yourself with blankets or hide under sturdy furniture. Avoid candles, gas lanterns and oil lamps.

—Don’t wait until the last minute to go to your safe room or to a local shelter. To find open shelters, call the Shelby County EMA at 669-3999.