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Tornado safe room

Tornadoes are dangerous storms that frequently strike certain parts of the Midwest. With rotating winds that can reach 300 miles per hour, tornadoes usually leave a trail of wreckage in their wake, and they can be life-threatening for those who get in their way. If you live in a place that gets tornado activity every year, learn about storm safety and take precautions ahead of time — it could save your life. These three tips can help get you started in learning how to stay safe during a tornado.

Seek shelter.
If you?re in a building, don?t go outside after a tornado warning has been issued. Tornadoes can leave trails of destruction more than a mile wide and fifty miles long, so if there?s one in your area, you?ll be putting yourself in danger by going outside. Above ground tornado shelters are the safest place to take cover in severe weather. If you aren?t near a tornado safe room or another kind of storm shelter, go to the lowest level of your house, such as a basement or cellar. Stay away from windows, which may break during a severe storm.

If you are outside, take cover inside if possible. If there are no buildings or tornado shelters nearby, seek out the lowest area you can, such as a ditch. This will help protect you not only from wind gusts, but also from lightning strikes, which kill 51 people annually in the U.S.

Keep a portable radio with you.
Have a NOAA weather radio ready for emergencies. If the storm knocks your power out, taking your TV and internet with it, you?ll still be able to stay informed on how the storm is progressing. Keep in mind that sheltering in heavily reinforced above ground tornado shelters might block the radio?s signal. Hold your radio near a window, if your tornado shelter has one, for the best chance of picking up a signal.

Have a disaster kit ready for emergencies.
Tornado-related safety hazards don?t end after the storm has passed. Does your family have enough clean water, non-perishable foods, and other necessities to get by for a few days if the storm leaves you without electricity and running water? Put together a disaster kit ahead of time so you?ll have peace of mind when severe weather hits. Include jugs of water, non-perishable food, a can opener, a first-aid kit, a radio, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Keep your disaster kit in a backpack or other easy-to-carry bag in case you need to transport it.

With over 1200 tornadoes occurring in the United States each year, these storms are worth taking seriously. Protect yourself and your family by making preparations for tornadoes ahead of time and learning about the benefits of above ground tornado shelters and other protective structures. Severe weather can be frightening, but with knowledge and preparation, you can keep yourself and your family safe.


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July 2024