Last month’s outbreak of tornadoes proved to be deadly in many parts of Kentucky. Tornadoes can appear suddenly and without warning, causing destruction and death. During tornado season, it is important for your family to be prepared by taking the following steps:
- Be familiar with what a tornado funnel cloud looks like.
- Prepare a family disaster plan and choose a location where you will seek shelter if a tornado is approaching. The best areas are basements or central rooms on the lowest level with no windows.
- Keep tree limbs and bushes trimmed, and promptly remove dead branches.
- Explain to your children the difference between a “watch” and a “warning.” A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado, and you should be prepared to seek shelter. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted in your area, and you should seek shelter immediately. Preparation is the key to protecting your family against severe weather. In the event of a tornado, put your plans into action to keep yourself safe:
- Recognize the warning signs of an approaching tornado, such as large hail, loud roaring and a dark sky.
- Keep all windows closed, and stay away from outside walls and corners.
- If you are not in a safe place and have enough warning, quickly go to a structure with a firm foundation. Unsafe places include the outdoors and in a vehicle or mobile home.
- If you are outdoors, look out for flying debris and do not hide under bridges or overpasses. You will be the safest in a low, flat area.
After a tornado, avoid downed power lines, as they carry the risk of electric shock or electrocution. Do not return to a damaged home or area until authorities tell you it is safe to do so. Tornados can rip down trees, making roads impassable, or they can weaken bridges, leaving them on the verge of collapse. Consult authorities before consuming the drinking water. Exercise caution and good judgment in deciding when to return home.