Tornadoes are violent storms caused by a clash of weather fronts. They are common in the Midwest, otherwise known as “Tornado Alley,” and can be alarming to those who have never experienced such a natural phenomenon. It is imperative to set up a plan of action to prepare in the event of a tornado.
Prepare yourself and your family with an emergency kit. Consider the worst-case scenario and plan accordingly. Keep a box with items with non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights, and batteries. You will want to store this in your shelter location. This location is very important because it is the prearranged place where you and your family will go during a tornado warning.
“A shelter location should be a secure place and each family member should know where it is and how to get there. A basement or cellar provides the best protection.”
A shelter location should be a secure place and each family member should know where it is and how to get there. A basement or cellar provides the best protection. Stay toward the middle of the room and away from doors and windows. If no underground shelter is available, consider contacting neighbors in advance to see if their space would accommodate you and your family in case of an emergency. Other alternatives for shelter would be a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. A vehicle, trailer or mobile home will not provide adequate protection; instead, find shelter in a building with a more secure foundation. Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
When tornado weather arises, the terms play a key role in understanding the severity of the storm. See the National Weather Service list of advisories on our website to learn the terms.