We normally share tornado safety information in the spring, when tornadoes in Northeast Ohio are most likely. But the National Weather Service U. S. Hazards Outlook indicates a chance of severe weather for Northeast Ohio tomorrow. So here is some information you can review:
- Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.
- In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.
What should I do to prepare for a tornado?
- Know the Difference
- Tornado Watch – A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible.
- Tornado Warning – A tornado WARNING means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. GO TO YOUR SAFE PLACE IMMEDIATELY.
- During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
- Know your community’s warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornadoes, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
- Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
- Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site (open in Chrome)
- Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
- Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
- Watch for tornado danger signs:
- Dark, often greenish clouds – a phenomenon caused by hail
- Wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
- Cloud of debris
- Large hail
- Funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
- Roaring noise
What to Do During a Tornado
- The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
- If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
- Be aware that no area of a mobile home is safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
- If you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately and go to either, using your seat belt if driving.
- If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
- If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:
- Immediately get into a vehicle and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Remember to buckle your seat belt and drive at right angles to the storm movement to get out of its path.
- Stay away from bridge/highway overpasses.
- If strong winds and flying debris occurs while driving, pull over and park, keeping your seat belt on and engine running. Put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket (if available).