When tornadoes strike it is best to be prepared to the extent possible. Unfortunately, once a tornado strikes there is no surefire way to protect your family. With the extremely powerful tornadoes such as those that recently struck in Oklahoma, anything in their path can be devastated in minutes.
Get Ready NOW
Because Houston is in an area where every year we have tornado activity, being ready is prudent. Here is a list of things to have from the CDC:
- Fresh batteries
- A battery-operated radio
- A list of emergency numbers
- A plan!
Some ways to increase your odds of surviving a tornado include:
* Be Prepared – have a plan in place for your family should a tornado be a reality and make sure all your family members understand the game plan. Select a predetermined place to meet, and stay informed through the weather channel or radio. Schools and commercial buildings generally have a sheltered area, which is believed to be the safest location. Generally, an interior room is selected.
* If you’re in a house without a basement, go to the lowest floor, and pick a small center room like a bathroom or a closet, preferably under a stairwell or room without windows near the center of the building.
* In a commercial building, go to an interior room preferably without Windows on the lowest floor available, interior stairwells are usually good choices. Stay off of elevators as it could be entrapped if the power goes out.
* In a vehicle, there is really no super safe option. If you can see the tornado, and it is quite a distance away you may be able to drive in the other direction and get out of its path. Moving at right angles to the tornado. Some experts suggest that if you can’t outdrive the tornado to look for a bar ditch that is extremely lower than the level of the roadway as a potential shelter.
In areas such as southern Texas where basements are not part of the building plans, the options for safety and tornado are limited. Being prepared in advance can make a big difference when you are only executing your plan and not trying to develop one on the fly.
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