Tornado Safety Tips
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
The first step in preparing for any type of disaster is to assemble a disaster supplies kit, which should include the following items:
- A first aid kit and any essential medications.
- Special items for infants, the elderly or disabled.
- Canned food and a can opener.
- At least three gallons of water per person.
- Protective clothing, bedding or sleeping bags.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
Prepare a Home Tornado Plan
Pick a place where your family can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It can be a basement or a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered. If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to get to the lowest floor, so pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings
Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information and know the difference between a tornado WATCH and a tornado WARNING:
- A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
- Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish.
When a Tornado WATCH is Issued
- Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates.
- Pay attention to changing weather conditions. You may see blowing debris or hear the sound of an approaching tornado. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
When a Tornado WARNING is Issued
- If you are inside, go to the safe place you designated to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
- If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area. If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.
After the Tornado Passes
- Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas.
- Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
- Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
- Do not use candles at any time.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org/. Follow us on twitter @chicagoredcross