Prepare for a Tornado

o   Know the difference between a Tornado Watch, indicating conditions are favorable for tornadoes, and a Tornado Warning, indicating an actual tornado has been spotted or is radar-indicated.

o   Know the tornado risk for your area.  The Southeast U.S. has a great risk for tornadoes, especially night-time tornadoes.

o   Know the signs of a tornado:  rotating funnel-shaped cloud; approaching cloud of debris; loud roar, similar to a freight train.

o   Pay attention to weather reports.

o   Identify and practice going to a safe shelter or a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of your home or sturdy building.

During a Tornado

o   Immediately go to your pre-identified safe location.

o   Put additional shielding with you such as pillows, furniture or blankets if there is time.

o   Cover your head and neck with your arms.

o   Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

o   If you  are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket if possible.

After a Tornado

o   Monitor local news and weather broadcasts for updated information.

o   If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust.  Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.

o   Stay clear of fallen power lines and broken utility poles.

o   Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told they are safe.

o   Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often busy or down after a disaster.

o   Use text or social media to communicate with family and friends.

o   Be careful during clean-up.  Wear thick-soled shoes. Long pants, and work gloves.