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Tornado Safety (from Premium Weather)

Tornado Safety
  • If you're in a house with a basement: Get into the basement and under sturdy protection (like a work bench or table) or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag. Avoid being under heavy objects on the floor above you (i.e. refrigerator).
  • If you're in a house with NO basement: Avoid windows and go to a room in the center of the building, like a bathroom or closet, under a stairwell or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor facing down and cover your head with your hands. Surround yourself with pillows or couch cushions.
  • If you're in a mobile home: Get out! Even tied down, a mobile home is not safe in a tornado.
  • If you're outdoors: Find a sturdy building if possible. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back or your head with your arms. Stay away from objects that could be moved by the wind.

  • If you're in a vehicle: Park the automobile out of traffic lanes. Get to a sturdy building, or get to low ground and lie flat, face-down. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges.
  • If you're at a school: Listen to teaching staff or administration for directions. Auditoriums, gyms and other free-span rooms are not an ideal shelter. Go to interior rooms on the lowest floor, but avoid halls that open to the outside in any direction. Stay away from glass. Crouch and cover your head with your hands.
  • If you're at a shopping center, hospital or factory:  Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass-enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs. Crouch down and cover your head with your hands.


Lightning Safety

Lightning Safety
  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for sounds of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to a safe shelter immediately.
  • Monitor weather forecasts.
  • When a Storm Approaches

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed.
  • Avoid telephone lines, metal pipes, the telephone and electrical appliances.
  • Avoid taking a shower or a bath or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can over load the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering in your home.
  • If Caught Outside
  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find the nearest shelter immediately.
  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not prone to flooding.
  • Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • If someone is Struck by Lightning

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.
  • Protect Your House

    Prepare your Home and Family for Severe Weather
  • Invest in a portable NOAA weather alert radio, or sign up for wireless or email alerts to let you know of approaching storms.
  • Make sure your home is up to, or exceeds, Standard Building Code. Hire an inspector to point out areas where you can improve the structure of your home.
  • Keep an eye on windows, doors, the roof, gables and connections. These areas could be weak spots that need to be sealed or reinforced to withstand high winds.
  • Outside, replace gravel or rock landscaping with shredded bark and keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut weak branches or tree limbs that could fall onto your house.
  • Assemble a disaster supply kit in your home that includes: First aid kit and essential medications; Canned food and can opener; At least three gallons of water per person; Protective clothing; bedding, or sleeping bags; Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.


    •  Come up with a plan of where your family should go in case of tornado, thunderstorm, flood, etc. During a tornado, choose the lowest floor of your home with no windows, preferably a basement. Minimize the amount of clutter to reduce the risk of injury. If you cannot get to the lowest floor (ie: you live in a high rise) pick a place in the hallway in the center of the building.
    • If you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there. Large hail can break windows, so close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. Stay away from skylights and doors.
    • Donít open your windows during a tornado. You wonít save the house, as once thought, and you may actually make things worse by giving wind and rain a chance to get inside.


    Watch vs. Warning
    In general, a watch tells you that conditions are favorable and there is a good chance that the event may happen. When a watch is issued begin making preparations for the upcoming event.  Watches are intended to heighten public awareness of the situation. A warning means that a certain weather event is IMMINENT. Measures should be taken to safeguard life and property IMMEDIATELY.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for development of severe thunderstorms. While not anticipated, tornadoes may occur in the watch area. Keep an eye on the sky for changing conditions and make preparations in case a weather warning is issued
  • Tornado Watch: A Tornado Watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Keep an eye on the sky for changing conditions and make preparations in case a weather warning is issued.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued, tornadoes and/or severe thunderstorms are occurring and have been spotted or detected by radar. The National Weather Service (NWS) defines a severe thunderstorm as having winds 50 knots (58 mph) or hail greater than ĺ" in diameter (about dime-sized).   There is imminent danger for people in the area warned.
    • Tornado Warning: When a Tornado Warning is issued, tornadoes are occurring and have been spotted or detected by radar. There is IMMINENT DANGER for people in the area warned. Issued by a local NWS office, the size of the warning area is generally the size of one or two counties and usually lasts less than an hour. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible on the lowest floor of your building. If you do not have a basement, seek shelter in an interior bathroom or closet. Get under something sturdy. Protect your head.


    **NOTE** The Safety information above is provided by Premium Weather & My Weather LLC.

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