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tornado survival

The Ultimate Tornado Survival Guide

Tornadoes are one of the most spectacular–and destructive–storms that exist. Most common in the Midwest, they’ve been known to touch down in other parts of the United States, too. If you’re at risk, you need to have a tornado survival plan.

Know the Signs

Large, active thunderstorms are dangerous in their own right, but they can also cause tornadoes to form. Many vulnerable communities have tornado sirens, but you should have your own emergency weather alert radio as well.

A tornado warning means that conditions are ripe for a tornado. Be prepared to move to your shelter. A watch means that a tornado has already formed, so take action now!

A Well-Stocked Tornado Shelter

Unlike storms that bring a large amount of rainfall, the main threat of a tornado is wind rather than flooding. That means basements are ideal for tornado shelters.

Your shelter should have at least 3 days worth of supplies to support everyone in your household. You’ll need to stay in your shelter until the official word is given, and while it’s not likely that you’ll be trapped down there for a long period of time, it’s best to be prepared.

If you don’t have access to a basement, then your best choices are a ground-floor bathroom, closet, or interior hallway. At the very least, everyone should shelter as far from the windows as possible.

Practice Your Tornado Plan

Run tornado drills with your family so that seeking shelter becomes second nature. Younger children should be used to running drills at school, so reinforce that behavior at home.

Everyone should understand the disaster plan as a whole as well as their specific role. Make sure to reinforce positive results–if everyone gets to the shelter on time, then maybe you can order a pizza or other treat.

Safety After a Tornado

After you’ve been given the all-clear to leave your shelter, it’s vital to turn off your utilities. Tornado damage can cause downed power lines and gas leaks, putting homes at risk for fire.

Be on the lookout for dangerous debris as well as standing water, which may be contaminated or even an electrocution threat.

Check everyone for injuries and treat anything you can handle with your first aid kit. If your home seems to have structural damage, don’t wait for help inside! Stay calm, don’t panic, and keep listening to your radio for updates on weather conditions and rescue efforts.

Erik Lobo

Are you prepared for when SHTF?

Erik Lobo is your guide through the wilderness of doomsday prepping. From coping with an EMP attack to choosing the best water purification methods, he’s an expert on the most important skill of all: survival.

It’s not too late to start thinking about how to keep yourself and your family safe—but tomorrow, it might be. Sign up today for notifications to get the latest from Doomsday Hero.