Thursday, March 3, 2011

COMMENTARY>>How to prepare for a tornado

During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about watches and warnings.

Know your community’s warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.

Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.

Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA Web site at

Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

Watch for tornado danger signs:

–Dark, often greenish clouds: A phenomenon caused by hail

–Wall cloud: An isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm

–Cloud of debris

–Large hail

–Funnel cloud: A visible rotating extension of the cloud base

–Roaring noise

(Source: American Red Cross)

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