How To Prepare For A Tornado
Ways to prepare yourself and your family for these devastating storms, and how to deal with the aftermath.
Be Weather Aware
Anytime there are severe storms headed your way it always pays to be weather aware. Everyone should have a weather radio for instances when the power goes out, but while you have power listen to radio and t.v. stations for the latest up-to-date weather information. News channels will almost always interrupt regular programming to bring you the newest information.
Also keep a watch out yourself. Weather radars are not always 100% accurate and sometimes news reporters rely on people calling in to let them know what is actually going on. Watch for a darkening of the skies, especially if it is concentrated in one area, wall clouds, hail, and any dramatic change in winds. Knowing what to look for is possibly the most important part of being prepared.
What you will need to have
As with any emergency it is always good to have a stockpile of things that will be needed in case disaster strikes. A first aid kit is a must in any situation, you will also need water, batteries, flashlights, extra fuel for cars and generators, and plenty of easy to fix non-perishable food items. It can sometimes be days or even possibly weeks before power will be returned to your area, so be prepared for such circumstances.
What to do if a tornado is spotted
When a tornado is spotted in your area take cover as soon as possible! If you have a storm shelter get to it, if not have a designated place in your home you and your family can go to for cover. This place should always be on the lowest level of your home away from all windows. A bathroom or closet is going to be your best choice. Bring pillows and blankets if at all possible to shield yourself from any debris, and I am sure this goes without saying but ALWAYS put your children underneath you! That way if anything does fall or come flying through it is going to hit you first. If there is anything nearby for you to grab onto by all means do so as this can keep you from being sucked into the tornado.
Living in Alabama my whole life I have had several run ins with tornadoes over the years, but nothing will ever compare with April 27, 2011. That is a day that has changed the lives of many all over America. The county I live in was the hardest hit in Alabama even though we didn't get much news coverage. I live in DeKalb County where there was over 30 deaths from one tornado. It was finally categorized as an EF5 and it was over half a mile wide. The link I have provided is a video taken on that day from over 30 miles away on Lookout Mountain. It shows the tornado going from Rainsville to Ider, AL.
To be honest with everyone there is no real way to prepare for such an thing, if you are a religious person all you can do is pray to your God that it does not hit you, or that if it does you at least walk away with your life. Many people I know died in the above tornado, and they took every precaution they tell you to. My family was very fortunate as we watched it pass less than 1/8 of a mile from our house. The pictures I have provided in this article are my actual pictures of the devastation tornadoes cause. Many peoples lives were saved just by simply jumping in their tubs and holding on for dear life. Nobody can understand the destruction these things cause until you have seen it first hand. The picture for this section is what used to be a trailer park half a mile down the road from where I live, 3 people died there. Shelter is the most important part of surviving!