In order to survive a tornado the first thing you must do is to begin preparing, you should think about putting an emergency kit together and making a family plan on what to do and where to go. The best plan is to have an emergency safe room or storm shelter constructed that can withstand these types of storms where you and your family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection and safety.
Nobody knows when a tornado may strike so you need be alert to changing weather conditions and watch for approaching storms. When you do see the weather conditions changing listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or television broadcasts for the latest information on recent weather developments and warnings. Some signs to look for would be large dark low-lying clouds with signs of possible rotation, large hail and rain, and a loud rumble or roar. Remember that tornado’s strike quickly with little or no warning so you always need to be aware of your surroundings and any changing weather conditions.
What to do if you find yourself in a tornado? Well this depends a lot on the type of structure you are in or where you are at the time the tornado strikes. If you are in your home or small building such as a store, school or similar structures go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a basement, storm cellar, safe room or the lowest level of the building you are in. If none of these options are available go to the center of an interior room (avoid the corners of buildings) on the lowest level of the structure you are in, find a closet or interior hallway away from windows, doors and the outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside walls of the building as possible. This allows more structure between you and flying debris. Try to get under a sturdy table or even in a metal bathtub and use your arms to protect your head and neck or possibly drag a mattress on top of you.
If you are in a mobile home or trailer, Get Out! Immediately go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter, remember mobile homes offer no protection from a tornado and should not be used as refuge from the storm.
If you find yourself outside with no shelter you have only a few options. Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter such as a neighbor’s home with a storm shelter or community shelter, depending on how much time you have. You should never try to outrun a tornado in any vehicle. If you find yourself stuck in the vehicle with no time to escape then put your head down below the windows, cover your head with your hands and anything you may have such as a coat, blanket or cushion. If you don’t have a vehicle then the safest place is to get to the lowest area you can find such as a ditch or underground culvert, lie down and cover your head. Avoid overpasses and bridges; you’ll be much safer in a low flat area.
After the tornado has passed check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so and stop any bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Get medical assistance immediately and have any puncture wounds evaluated by a doctor. If you are trapped try to attract attention to your location but do not attempt to move any of the structure that traps you, this could cause the structure to fall in on top of you therefore crushing you which may result in additional injury or death. You should only attempt to escape if there is a clear unobstructed path out of the debris.
Many injuries don’t result from the direct impact of a tornado; they may occur afterward when people are walking among debris and enter damaged buildings. Most tornado-related injuries are suffered as a result of rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Many injuries are resulted just from stepping on nails due to all the building debris lying around, if you have access to sturdy work boots and gloves these are best suited for walking and searching through the debris. Tornadoes often damage power lines, electrical systems and gas lines to buildings so there is a high risk electrocution, fire or even explosions. Protecting yourself and your family requires treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme caution and care to avoid further hazards such as these left after the storm.
This is only a small bit of information that is available but I hope it gets you thinking and planning on what you need to do to keep you and your family safe. By just taking the time to prepare you will feel much safer and confident that you can survive a tornado. There are lots of great local government and community plans in place so check for one in your local area and get prepared for the unexpected.
Author: The Survival Guy