STORM WARNING --
Be Prepared for a Tornado
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Tornado preparedness checklist.

Prepare a Home Tornado Plan

  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing--

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish.

When a Tornado WATCH Is Issued...

  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

When a Tornado WARNING Is Issued...

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).

After the Tornado Passes...

  • Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged area.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
  • Do not use candles at any time.

Your Local Red Cross Chapter Can Provide Additional Materials in English and Spanish:

Materials for Children:

  • "Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book" (PDF File) (ARC 2200, English, or Spanish) for children ages 3-10.
  • "Adventures of the Disaster Dudes" (ARC 5024) video and Presenter's Guide for use by an adult with children in grades 4-6.
  • "After the Tornado" Coloring Book (ARC 2205, English, or ARC 2205S, Spanish)
To get copies of American Red Cross Community Disaster Education materials, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

And remember . . . when a tornado, flood, earthquake, fire, or other emergency happens in your community, you can count on your local American Red Cross chapter to be there to help you and your family. Your Red Cross is not a government agency and depends on contributions of your time, money, and blood. For more information, please contact your local American Red Cross chapter or emergency management office.

If you would like permission to use the information about tornadoes on this page in a newsletter or other publication, or on your Website, please e-mail us at: [email protected]


Be Prepared


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