Disaster Preparedness - Tornado

Storms can produce high winds, heavy rainfall, hail, lightning, and even tornadoes. Print these tips from the Red Cross, FEMA, emergency workers, police officers, firefighters and others to help you prepare for severe weather.

- Creating a Tornado Emergency Plan
- Your Home and Property
- Prepare a Home Inventory

- When a Tornado Watch/Warning is Issued...
- Additional Information

Creating a Tornado Emergency Plan

Plan ahead.

1.       Print copies of the Emergency Information Contact Section and keep them by your phones for easy access.

2.       Learn about tornadoes and teach your family about tornadoes. Read our article "What is a Tornado?"

3.       Learn tornado-warning signs and your community's alert signals by calling the mayor's office. Each city has its own criteria for sounding alarms.

4.       Have a "safe place" in your home where family members can gather during a tornado.

o        The location should be on the lowest floor of the building, and have no windows, skylights or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail, causing damage or injury.

TIP: Find a "Safe Place."

If you don't have a basement, consider using a hallway or bathroom as your "safe place" to gather during a tornado warning. Make sure the area has no or few windows.

5.       Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.

6.       Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, your children's school or child care center, as well as other places where your family spends time (i.e. church, gym, rec center).

7.       Plan in advance where to go if you are asked to evacuate your home. Take some time to really think about it; consider more than one option such as a relative's home, a hotel, or a shelter.

8.       Know where emergency shelters are located. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross for information on designated public shelters.

9.       Meet with neighbors either informally or through a neighborhood group to create a neighborhood preparedness plan.

10.   Make a note of neighbors or nearby relatives who may require extra assistance. Write down their names and phone numbers, if you don't have them already. Keep this list with your emergency kit or your emergency contact list.

11.   Always have extra cash on hand (at least $100 or so) because ATMs and credit card machines won't work if there is no electricity.

TIP: NOAA Weather Radio.

At any time if there is a severe warning in your area. a NOAA Weather Radio automatically turns on and alerts you with beeps and sirens. It even alerts you if the power is out (the radios have battery back-up). Look for NOAA radios with "SAME" feature (Specific Area Message Encoding) which means the receiver is capable of turning itself on from a silent mode.