Police & Public Safety

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are one of nature's most violent storms. They can appear suddenly without warning and can be invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a funnel cloud appears. Planning and practicing specifically how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival. Be prepared to act quickly. Keep in mind that while tornadoes are more common in the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest, they can occur in any state and at any time of the year, making advance preparation important.

Prepare for a Tornado

  • Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard. 
    •  A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor local radio and television news outlets for the latest developments. 
    • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning. 
    • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection. 
    • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. 
    • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. 
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris. 
    • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible. 
    • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. 
    • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed. 
  • Get a kit of emergency supplies. Store it in your shelter location.

Plan to Take Shelter

  • If local authorities issue a tornado warning or if you see a funnel cloud. Take shelter immediately. 
  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available. 
  • Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.

Stay Informed

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.

  • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

For further information on how to plan and prepare for tornadoes as well as what to do during and after a tornado, visit: Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Watch or American Red Cross.

  • After a tornado be sure to remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Help injured or trapped people. Check on others who may require special assistance, such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.
  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch tv, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
  • Info from http://www.Ready.gov-

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