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3 Easy Steps to Being Tornado Ready

Being prepared for a tornado is really as easy as 1-2-3.

But the time to get prepared is not when a tornado is bearing down on you, or even when severe weather is forecast for you. It’s when there isn’t a cloud in the sky. It really boils down to three things.

1. Have a plan.
2. Have multiple ways to receive warnings.
3. Take protective actions immediately when a warning is issued.

Let’s break it down.

HAVE A PLAN
• Think about the place you will go on a moment’s notice if severe weather strikes.
• Make sure your home, school, workplace and church have a designated shelter.
• Pay attention to weather information during the risk.
• Have redundant sources of weather warnings.
• Notify friends and family who may not be aware.

HAVE MULTIPLE WAYS TO RECEIVE WARNINGS
If you have MyWARN, you have the fastest and simplest way to get a tornado warning. But you should still have redundant systems for receiving warning, just in case something keeps you from getting the warning that way. Just in case back MyWARN up with another way to get alerts. The new WEA system is one way. NOAA Weatheradio is another.

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED
• Take action immediately!
• The basic advice is: GET UNDERGROUND and GET UNDER A TABLE.
• Seek shelter under a sturdy table in the basement.
• If no basement is available, go to a first floor, small interior room or a room on the opposite side from a tornado. Stay away from windows.
• In schools, churches, and shopping centers, go to a designated shelter.
• Get away from outside walls, glass, and large rooms. Get under a table or counter or in a restroom or small storeroom.
• DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN A VEHICLE OR MOBILE HOME.

HOME WITH A BASEMENT
• Seek shelter in the basement.
• Get under a sturdy object such as a large table, workbench or pool table because debris may fall into the basement.

HOME WITHOUT A BASEMENT
• Seek shelter on the first floor in an interior small room, such as a closet or bathroom.
• Try to shelter in the part of building opposite to approach of storm.

MOBILE HOME
• DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN A MOBILE HOME.
• More than 50% of tornado fatalities occur in mobile homes.
• Leave mobile homes for a safe shelter before a tornado threatens.
• Seek safety in a designated safety shelter.
• As a last resort, lie down in a ditch or depression or culvert.

CAR/TRUCK
• DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN YOUR VEHICLE.
• Vehicles are usually tossed into the air and destroyed.
• If you are in a vehicle during a tornado, drive away from the storm’s path.
• Stop and go in a substantial building if available.
• If no substantial shelter is available, abandon your vehicle and lie in a ditch or culvert.
• Choose a location such that the vehicle won’t roll over on you.

CHURCH
• Church sanctuaries and fellowship halls are not safe in tornadoes.
• Get under a table or desk in a basement area.
• If no basement is available, a small room or interior hallway in part of building opposite to approach of storm.

SCHOOL
• Auditoriums and gymnasiums are not safe places in tornadoes.
• Go to the basement or a designated shelter area on the first floor.
• Restrooms or other small, sturdy rooms are usually good choices.
• Avoid areas into which high walls could collapse.
• Stay away from windows.
• If there is no time to move to a safer location dive under tables or desks.

LARGE RETAIL/SHOPPING CENTER
• Go to a designated storm shelter (ask in advance).
• Stay out of mall walkway areas.
• Stay away from outside walls and windows.
• Get under a table, behind a counter or in a restroom or small storeroom.
• DO NOT GO TO YOUR PARKED CAR.

HOTEL/MOTEL
• Go to a designated shelter area.
• Alert others as you go.
• Underground locations are the best.
• Stay away from windows.
• As a last resort, get under a bed or lie flat in an interior hallway on the first floor with a mattress or blanket covering you.

LARGE BUILDING
• Large, concrete reinforced buildings are usually not destroyed.
• Go to the designated shelter area, usually a basement or a hallway on the lowest floor.
• Stay away from windows.

SMALL BUILDING
• Go to the designated shelter area, usually a basement or a hallway on the lowest floor.
• Stay away from windows.
• Get under something study. .

MYTHS
• Don’t open windows.
• Don’t take shelter in the southwest corner of a building.
• Highway overpasses do not provide protection.

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