Often, emergency sirens are activated for every possibly severe thunderstorm or worse, too late to be of help. You need to know when to take cover and what to do once you get there. This is how to survive a tornado.
1.) When should you run for cover? Use your senses. Storms take time to brew and you should be listening, watching, and feeling.
Sound. It is hard to distinguish between bad and deadly. Noises will help you make the choice. During a thunderstorm, the loud cracks seemed to echo forever but they do eventually stop and pause between bangs. A tornado echos continuously, as long as it is on the ground. It is a roaring whistle that just sounds different, deeper, and if it is very close, the ground will vibrate.
Sight. Large hail and rain blowing in more than two directions, horizontal rain, and animals fleeing, are good signs you’re in danger.
Touch. The weather often changes during tornados, going from muggy to cool or the other way other. Feel the differences in the air. as it cold a moment before and now muggy? Were you sweating and the breeze is not longer warm?
2.) You’ve decided it is time to run for cover. Where?
If you are in a Mobile Home
You have no real protection. Line a tub with pillows and blankets or pull the couch overtop of yourself. Anything heavy with padding will give you some protection. The best thing you can do is get out. As a last resort, tie yourself to something set deep in the ground, like pipes or a tree, though being under a tree during a thunderstorm is not recommended due to lightening strikes.
In a Home or apartment
Most apartment buildings, houses and businesses have a basement of some sort and you want a smaller room on the corner so if it collapses, you’ll be found sooner.. If you do not have a basement, use the trailer stand by. Pick an inner room with no windows and pull something with padding over yourself.
How to survive a tornado
If you are in a Vehicle/outdoors
Do not drive backwards! Turn around. You might loose 2 seconds in the turn but you’ll make it up by going forward. It is a known fact that people react better with familiar motions. Don’t think it’s true? Try walking backward down the stairs. (If you really do this, it is not my fault, thank you very much.) Ask yourself:
Is there time to drive away?
Tornadoes do not just drop from the sky. They form and then slowly progress toward the ground. If you miss it forming then you may not be able to drive out of harms way. Look around. Your car is fast than your feet. Is there a shelter you can get to or under? It must be sturdy. If it is life or death, drive through something if you have to but expect to pay for damages and be prosecuted if someone gets hurts.
Where do you run to?
A low ditch might be passed by. Sewer and storm drains are better protection but prone to flooding during storms, as their purpose is to catch excess rainwater.
Go to a home or business that looks to have a basement but do it quickly. Outdoors, most deaths are caused by flying debris. Now would be a good time to have rope in your pocket in case tying yourself to something is the only option. Have you read the 5 basic survival skills?
How to survive a tornado
3.) So, you found shelter. Now what?
Get away from the windows and anything that might become shrapnel. Turn on the weather radio and flashlights. If possible, settle into an already prepared area with padding, using common items like mattresses and bags o clothes.
Most tornadoes pass by quickly and take few lives or al the damage they do but don’t come out until the signs that sent you fleeing are gone.
How to survive a tornado/Aftermath
Power will likely be off for a while after a tornado, from lightening and down trees mostly. Settle into your one room with your supplies nearby… You do have your tornado kit packed, right?