TORNADOS

Plan ahead. Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in case of a tornado warning.

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SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.

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STORM DAMAGE

The May 2011 storm struck Battle Creek about 4:30 p.m., tipping hundreds of trees and damaging several buildings.

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EXTREME HEAT

A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for humans who don't take the proper precautions..

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Preparing for a tornado or thunderstorm:

  • Plan ahead. Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in case of a tornado or thunderstorm warning.
  • Know the safest location for shelter in your home, workplace, and school. Load-bearing walls near the center of the basement or lowest level generally provide the greatest protection.
  • Know the location of designated shelter areas in local public facilities, such as schools, shopping centers, and other public buildings.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand, including a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, flashlight, and a supply of fresh batteries, first-aid kit, water, and cell phone.
  • Keep a three-day supply of food on hand. Keep some food in your supply kit that doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • Make an inventory of household furnishings and other possessions. Supplement it with photographs of each room and keep it in a safe place.
  • Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from your local media or download the American Red Cross Tornado App

What to do when a thunderstorm approaches your area:

  • Stay tuned to your weather radio or local news station for the latest updates from the National Weather Service or go to the National Weather Service Web site, www.weather.gov.
  • Seek safe shelter when you first hear thunder or when you see dark threatening clouds developing overhead or see lightning. To determine the proximity of the severe weather, count the seconds between the time you see lightning and hear thunder. If the time between is less than 30 seconds, ensure you are in a safe location and stay inside until 30 minutes after you last hear thunder or see lightning. Remember, lightning can strike more than 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • When you hear thunder, run to the nearest large building or a fully enclosed vehicle (soft-topped convertibles are not safe). It is not safe anywhere outside.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Any item plugged into an electrical outlet may cause a hazard during a tornado or thunderstorm. Do not use corded (plug-in) telephones except in an emergency.

What to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area:

  • Quickly move to shelter in the basement or lowest floor of a permanent structure.
  • In homes and small buildings, go to the basement and get under something sturdy, like a workbench or stairwell. If a basement is not available, go to an interior part of the home on the lowest level. A good rule of thumb is to put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.
  • In schools, hospitals, and public places, move to the designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floors are generally best.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Broken glass and wind blown projectiles cause more injuries and deaths than collapsed buildings. Protect your head with a pillow, blanket, or mattress.
  • If you are caught outdoors, a sturdy shelter is the only safe location in a tornado.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.

After a tornado or thunderstorm:

  • Inspect your property and motor vehicles for damage. Write down the date and list the damages for insurance purposes. Check for electrical problems and gas leaks, and report them to the utility company at once.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines. Stay out of damaged buildings until you are sure they are safe and will not collapse. Secure your property from further damage or theft.
  • Use only chlorinated or bottled supplies of drinking water. Check on your food supply. Food stored in a refrigerator or freezer can spoil when the power goes out.
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Do1Thing - Small steps toward being prepared for an emergency

 
 

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