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Saturday, April 24, 2010

TORNADO SAFETY: WHAT YOU CAN DO

TORNADO SAFETY: WHAT YOU CAN DO

Before the Storm:
· Develop a plan for yourself and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors.
· Have frequent drills.
· Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and a battery backup to receive warnings.
· Listen to radio and television for information.
· If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.
If a warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches:
· In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
· If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
· Stay away from windows.
· Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead leave it immediately.
· If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression.
· Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.
WHAT TO LISTEN FOR
Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in our area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in our area.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Severe thunderstorms are occurring.
Remember, tornadoes occasionally develop in areas in which a severe thunderstorm watch or warning is in effect. Remain alert to signs of an approaching tornado and seek shelter if threatening conditions exist.
WHO’S MOST AT RISK?
· People in automobiles.
· The elderly, very young and the physically or mentally impaired.
· People in mobile homes.
· People who may not understand the warning due to a language barrier.
TORNADO MYTHS
MYTH: Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
FACT: No place is safe from tornadoes. In the late 1980’s, a tornado swept
through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000-ft. mountain.
MYTH: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to "explode" as the tornado passes overhead.
FACT: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.
MYTH: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
FACT: Opening windows allows damaging wind to enter the structure. Leave the windows alone; instead, immediately go to a safe place.
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most deaths and injuries.
It’s up to you!
Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes despite advance warning. Some did not hear the warning while others received the warning but did not believe a tornado would actually affect them. The preparedness information in this section combined with timely severe weather watches and warnings, could save your life in the event a tornado threatens your area. After you have received the warning or observed threatening skies, YOU must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. It could be the most important decision you will ever make!
Marilyn Jones Stamps
Emergeny Management Coordinator - www.Tourism.Alabama.gov

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