Tips on surviving severe weather

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday evening’s tornado warnings across the southern portion of our county served as clear reminders that Mother Nature deserves our respect.

Although we saw little damage from the storms in our area, we can’t take severe weather lightly.

A few tornado preparedness tips worth considering for your family:

-Designate an area in the home as a shelter, and practice having everyone in the family go there in response to a tornado threat. In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement. If a basement is unavailable, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Get under sturdy furniture.

-Stay away from windows.

-Get out of automobiles.

-Discuss with family members the difference between a “tornado watch” and a “tornado warning.”

-Have disaster supplies on hand: Flashlight and extra batteries, portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit and manual, emergency food and water, nonelectric can opener, essential medicines, cash and credit cards and sturdy shoes.

-Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.

-In case family members are separated from one another during a tornado, have a plan for getting back together.

-Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit. When a tornado warning is issued, take shelter in a building with a strong foundation.

-An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.

-Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down.

-Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It’s common to see clear skies behind a tornado.

Contact our Shelby County Emergency Management office for more information.