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Planning For Your Tornado Survival

I am writing this post during the early spring of 2020 when some wicked weather pummeled the Southeast United States.

How can you plan for tornado survival when these things seem to come out of nowhere so quickly?

  1. You need a plan
  2. You need an early-detection audio device.
  3. You need to be aware of shelter possibilities
  4. You should have a tornado kit
  5. You need to understand that flying debris is the number one killer.
tornado survival

Is There A Tornado Near Me?

One of the first rules of Emergency Preparedness is knowing your situation and being aware of where you live. Is your area subject to flooding?

How about a hurricane or a mudslide situation?

Thankfully the government publishes information to help you in your education of exactly where you live, such as this map of where tornados are most likely to touch down so you can think about tornado survival solutions.

tornado risk map for survival

Tornado Watch vs Warning

So as you are watching the news, they warn you of serious weather situations such as a tornado watch or warning.

What is the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

Tornado Watch: Be Prepared!

Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.

Acting early helps to save lives!

Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.

National Weather Service

Tornado Warning: Take Action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

Warnings are issued by your local forecast office. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is

National Weather Service

If that issue is a tornado warning, it is time to implement all your tornado survival skills for yourself and your family.

Tornado Survival Checklist

Time to consider that plan. Families with a plan in place for any impending crisis and know when and how to take cover are safe and prepared. This prevents unnecessary panic when a tornado warning is in place.

An early detection device. I think this is one of the most important devices to own if you are in a high-risk area. A NOAA Weather Radio will notify you first for every weather alert in your area, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe storms, giving you critical time to prepare and save you and your family from disaster.

Be aware of shelter possibilities. Your family plan should include getting to a shelter. There are several different types of shelters to use. The basement is always the best. The closest you can be to the underground, the safest you will be. No underground? No problem. Find an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom, closet, or under stairs.

Put as many layers between you and the outside. Have a mattress from one of the beds to block the area or to place on top of you. If you have a helmet, such as a bicycle helmet, wear them.

A Tornado Kit should include:

  • A NOAA Weather Radio Battery-powered.
  • Another basic battery radio to stay up-to-date.
  • Flashlight.
  • Extra batteries for the radios and flashlight.
  • Prescription medications.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Water and some food

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Debris. Everyone should have sturdy shoes on if possible. It is possible that it’s going to be quite messy after the fact. Each family member should also have a bicycle helmet, football helmet, or something to protect each person’s head.

Above all else, you must protect your body in case walls and ceiling collapse. A tornado literally splinters anything and everything, and even a small piece of debris can fly at incredible speeds, seemingly with the force of a high-powered gun.

Emergency Preparedness For Tornado Survival

When it comes to home preparedness, there are several things you should do when a tornado is heading into your vicinity or is going to be close by. Times have changed in the last 30 years.

Warning systems are more efficient, and Doppler radar has helped weather forecasters tell which way a storm system is heading and how fast. Tornadoes are very unpredictable. They can change direction, so we should all be in a basement instead of on our porch or in front of the television.

Tornado Survival If Not At Home

Most businesses have a plan of survival tips in place, and you should follow their plan.

A tornado that hit Kansas on May 28, 2019, went through several business areas, and in each situation, people were told where to go to get to their shelters.

Because of this type of planning, there were no critical injuries even though this tornado was on the ground for two hours and skipped through a very large populated area. The storm did a tremendous amount of damage, but people did exactly what they needed to do to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Surviving A Tornado While In A Car

First, you will not be doing yourself any favors by trying to outrun a tornado in your car. You will lose.

Pull over, get out of the car, and try to get in a ditch off to the side of the road. Try to protect your head and hold onto the ground if possible. Do not go into an underpass. The underpasses act like vacuums and are unsafe because the vacuum created will be sucking all that debris into the close quarters of an underpass.

Trailer Survival During A Tornado

Get out of a trailer or camper and seek shelter somewhere else. A trailer or a camper will be shredded and turned into rubble. A tornado will not need a direct hit for that to happen. You will not be safe. Get to a storm cellar in the trailer park or a low point in the campground, but do not stay in the camper or trailer.

Tornado Preparedness For Survival

It is very important to know how to survive a tornado. In the last month, when I am writing this, the Southeast of the United States has seen over a dozen tornados.

Thanks to the sirens, the meteorologists, and friends and neighbors texting each other, people are surviving and also saving the lives of others.

Using all the precautions of emergency preparedness to survive a tornado may not save your property, but it will save your life and the lives of those you love.

When Twisters Twist, You Must Persist For Tornado Survival

Tornadoes can knock the wind out of anyone’s sails, but you have the knowledge to stand firm.

Imagine the peace that’ll wash over you, knowing you’ve taken every measure to protect your loved ones.

First step?

Review and drill your family on a tornado emergency plan this weekend. Remember, it’s not just about survival—it’s about thriving afterward with confidence and assurance.

Ready to make a difference? Start by sharing this article with friends and neighbors. Because when Mother Nature throws a curveball, you’ll teach others how to hit it out of the park.

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