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While tornadoes commonly take place in the Midwest during the spring and summer, they have been reported in every state and they can happen at any time. A tornado may contain 200 mile an hour swirling winds and has the ability to destroy nearly everything in its path.

What you can do to prepare:
  • Create a Family Emergency Plan
    • Designate a place where the entire family should gather if a tornado is headed your way. The best place is usually the basement. If there is no basement, choose a center hallway, a bathroom or a closet on the lowest floor. If you live in a high-rise building, you may not have time to go to the lowest floor so pick a second place such as a hallway in the center of the building. In any case, make sure this location is clutter free.
    • Conduct planned and surprise tornado drills. This will help everyone remember what to do if and when a tornado is approaching.
  • Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit
    • first aid kit and basic medications
    • battery-powered flashlight and radio
    • extra batteries
    • canned food and a can opener
    • bottled water
    • work gloves and sturdy shoes
    • written instructions on how to turn off your home's utilities
  • Understand Tornado Watches and Warnings
    Tornado watches and warnings are issued by your county.
    • A tornado WATCH indicates the possibility of a tornado in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING occurs when a tornado has been spotted and may be headed towards you. You should immediately get to safety.
  • Stay Tuned for Storm Information
    • Listen to your local TV and radio stations for up-to-date storm information.
During a tornado watch:
  • Be Alert to Changes in Weather Conditions
    • Flying debris or the sound of an approaching tornado (many compare this to the sound of a freight train) may indicate that a tornado is near.
  • Stay Tuned to Local TV and Radio Stations for Further Updates During a Tornado Warning
    • IF YOU ARE INSIDE: Go to your designated meeting place on the lowest level of the building.
    • IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE: Hurry to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
    • IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME: Get out immediately and head for the nearest shelter.
    • IF YOU ARE IN A MOTOR VEHICLE: Do not try to outrun the storm - get out of the vehicle and seek shelter in a safe structure or lie down in a low area.
After a tornado passes:
  • Inspect Your Home for Damage
  • Watch for Fallen Power Lines
  • Listen to the Radio for Further Instructions and Information


Acknowledgments:
American Red Cross