According to the National Weather Service Tornadoes are natures most violent storms. They often occur at night and therefore make them even more dangerous due to limited visibility.

This is what happened April 27, 2011 across seven southern U.S. states. A powerful storm system killed an estimated 300+ people and demolished parts of several towns. Initial reports said that many were unprepared and caught off guard even though there were watches and warnings in effect thoughout the day.

Since these storms are most often very unexpected and highly unpredictable, it is extremely important for a family to have an action plan in place for what to do whether you be at home, work, or elsewhere when one strikes.

Most of our schools have plans in place for emergency events. Children will most likely be locked in their school for safety reasons during the day. Be sure you know your child’s school emergency procedures.

Ensure homes are equipped with the Supply List items listed in this guide. Make especially certain to have a weather radio with fresh batteries.

Know what buildings have shelters in your community and don't hesitate to get to one in time. Many people make the mistake of thinking they will be safe at home. If you do not have a basement, consider going to a community storm shelter.

Know the emergency plans of your office building or place of work. Is there shelter on site? Are there first-aid supplies? Is there safe drinking water?

Tornadoes can create wind speeds of over 250 mph. Flying debris is of special concern. When one is upon your area, stay in your home, business, or school. It's too dangerous to try and leave at this point. Do not attempt to leave the area in a vehicle. Do not remain in a vehicle.

If driving in a vehicle, stop and seek a shelter in a solid building or basement. If none are available, get out of the vehicle and lay down in the lowest lying area you can find such as a ditch or gulley.

If you are at home when a tornado strikes, find the smallest inner-most room, closet or hallway in a one-story home. If possible get underneath a heavy piece of furniture that would provide some protection from debris such as under a heavy desk or table. Stay away from all windows doors and outside walls.

Take shelter in the basement if you have one. Take care not to be near any electrical panels, furnaces, or other appliances or anything that may fall on you. Again, if you have a heavy piece of furniture in the basement, get underneath it and stay there until the storm has passed.

After a storm, be very careful when surveying the damage. Something could easily fall on you, or you may fall into something causing serious injury.

Try to stay aware of weather forecasts and warnings. Monitor NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center for current conditions.

more to come on Tornadoes

Natural Disasters