It is very important to be prepared in case of a tornado. If weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in your area, then a tornado watch is issued. If a tornado is spotted on the ground, or is indicated by Doppler Radar, then a tornado warning is issued. In either case, it is imperative to have a plan of action.
In the case of a tornado watch, it is important to stay tuned to your local weather reports in case the weather should take a turn for the worse. Be prepared with a disaster supplies kit. It should include: batteries, flashlights, candles, matches, bottled water, a first aid kit, a NOAA weather radio, and other additional items (FEMA).
When a tornado warning is issued it is necessary to take appropriate shelter immediately.
1. If you are in a sturdy structure, such as a home or office building, get to the basement or designated severe weather shelter as quickly as possible. If there is no basement, then go to an internal room on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows.
2. If you are in a mobile home, try to get to a sounder structure. If there is no time, go to the center of your mobile home and protect yourself as best as possible.
3. If you are in a public setting (such as a mall, sporting event, school) listen to the people in charge as they have a plan of action designed to keep everyone safe
4. If you are in a car, try to get to a building as quickly as possible in a direction away from the tornado. NEVER PARK OR HIDE UNDER A BRIDGE OVERPASS. If you cannot safely outrun a tornado, or you are stuck in traffic, get out of your vehicle and get as far from the roadway as possible. Lie flat in a low spot until the tornado has passed. It is important not to stay in your vehicle since the violent winds can easily pick cars up and disperse them.
5. If you are outside (golfing, plowing) and are too far from a building, then the best course of action is to lie in a low ditch.
6. Tornadoes can form over water as well, and when they do they are called waterspouts. In this case, try to get to land while moving in the opposite direction of the waterspout. Once on land, look for an appropriate shelter.
After the tornado has passed, it is important to try to remain calm. People may require medical assistance. Be aware of downed power lines, broken gas pipes, and unsound structures.