If a tornado were headed toward you, what would you do?

Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:37 am
May 28, 2011
If a tornado were headed toward you, what would you do?
By Fred Mann | The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — A lesson from the tragedy in Joplin, Mo., is that tornadoes may strike with little or no warning, hidden by rain or nearly transparent until they kick up dust and debris.

You might be shopping, visiting a nursing home, driving a car or attending a movie.

Emergency officials recommend following these basic guidelines if you find yourself in an unfamiliar place when a tornado approaches:

_ Get to the lowest level, find an interior room or hallway away from windows, and try to put as many walls between you and the storm as possible. Flying debris is the leading cause of fatalities and injuries in a tornado.

-- If you plan a trip to a so-called big box store and severe weather is predicted, stay home. Big box stores generally are built of light weight materials that may meet code but are inadequate to protect against a tornado. In addition, they are filled with loose items that can turn into deadly missiles in a tornado.

-- If you must go to a big box store, stay aware of weather alerts. If you are in a store when a tornado approaches, the best option is leave and find cover outside in a ditch or low-lying area.

-- In high-rise apartments or office buildings, get to the lowest floor, then pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building. Central stairways are good if enclosed by concrete, not glass. Elevators are not good places to go because buildings could lose power.

-- Stay away from glass walls and windows, no matter how small.

-- Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, and cover your head with your hands.

-- In houses or other small structures, prepare a safe place to go in advance. If there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor is the best place to wait out a storm.

-- Hide under a heavy work table or under stairs to avoid crumbling walls, chimneys and debris. Avoid areas on lower floors beneath heavy objects such as pianos, refrigerators and beds.

-- Bathtubs and commodes are anchored into the ground and sometimes are the only things left standing after a storm. Get into a bathtub with a cushion or heavy blankets over you.

-- In a pinch, put a metal trash container over your head to protect against flying debris.

-- In schools, shopping centers, churches and other large structures, avoid areas with wide, free-span roofs. If possible, get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Crouch down and cover your head. Stay away from windows and outside walls.

-- In churches or theaters, get under seats or pews, protecting your head with your arms.

-- In vehicles, don't try to outrun a tornado. If a tornado is visible far away and the traffic is light, you may able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the storm. Otherwise park the car as quickly as possible out of traffic, get out immediately, and head for nearest sturdy building, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.

_ If you are caught in the tornado, stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.

_ Don't take shelter under overpasses. Deadly airborne debris can easily be blown into those areas.

_ Mobile homes aren't safe, even if securely tied down. Residents should abandon them and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately.

_ If you are outdoors, get to a sturdy building or low-lying area. Keep your head and neck covered.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/05/28/114937/what-to-do-if-a-tornados-heading.html?storylink=MI_emailed#ixzz1Nr2DErnA
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Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 10:49 am
Any ideas about protecting your pets?

I have two doggies.

Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 11:10 am
step 1...

be aware.

they don't sneak up on you. really...

there is no reason to go shopping when a Kansas thunderstorm is lurking. even on double coupon day.

step 2...

when severe weather is in the neighborhood, always have a plan. and a safe place to be.

several of our older neighbors come to visit when the sirens go off...

I had a culvert selected at the old house.

step 3...

actually go there when it looks bad.

smoky hasn't been in the fraidy hole in 15 years...

if he does elect to come down there, then his dog will come with him.

Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 11:52 am
We headed for the basement. There are windowless rooms down there. We left the basement door to the upstairs open for the cats.....it's really hard to gather up six cats...kind of reminiscent of that great superbowl commercial, "Herding Cats."
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Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 12:28 pm
I would start spinning as fast as I could in the opposite direction in which the tornado is spinning to neutralize its impact. That makes sense, right?
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 12:33 pm
Yes. It is very important to do something.
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Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 01:46 pm
I have been known to keep my kids home on tornado days - until the storms are over - even though the schools are not closed. We have our baseball helmets lined up in our safe place. We go straight to the basement in the crawl space - it just happens to be built into the side of the hill. I have chairs, lantern radio and a small TV down there. All battery powered. The dog's pen is there as well.

I agree Rock - absolutely no overpowering reason to go out on days where you know tornadoes are a possibility. There are some days the kids are already at school when tornado warnings come - but these schools are so incredibly sturdy and they keep the kids in the hallways with their heads between their knees. I feel they are pretty safe there. The schools will not release the kids while under tornado warnings.

To be honest, I didn't think tornados would come to my little valley - but - this last time we had one less than half a mile from the house. Thankfully they scare me enough that I have always gone down to the basement with the kids when I hear the tornado siren. I do believe that having the weather radios that will go off when one is called is also important. We can't always hear the sirens from the firehouse.

My doggies are with us. Their pen is there - so on the days where there is a possibility of inclement weather they stay in for the day. They have crates that they like to go into. That should protect them from flying debris if that occurs.
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Reply Tue 31 May, 2011 09:24 am
Good advice for pet protection.

Since I have a one story house on a concrete base, the only place I think might protect Butrflynet and me is the walk-in closet in the center of my bedroom/bathroom. No windows and surrounded by other rooms. We could protect our heads with clothing if the roof happened to collapse on us. It might be difficult to herd Dolly and Madison doggies into the closet because they are not used to going in it.

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