As we have just learned in our very own Gaylord community, tornadoes can quickly devastate communities. Turning lives upside down, destroying buildings and homes, while producing deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are nothing to mess around with and it is crucial to act quickly if one comes through your area. Here are some tips to prepare for tornadoes in Northern Michigan:
Under a tornado warning? Find shelter immediately:
- Stay away from windows, outside walls, and doors.
- Find a safe and sturdy building.
- Stay in a low and flat location.
- It is best to go into a basement or storm cellar.
- If you do not have a basement, go to a small interior room on the lowest level (avoiding windows).
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
- Watch for flying debris.
How to prepare:
- Know your area’s tornado risk.
- Sign up for your community’s warning system.
- Know the signs of a tornado.
- Funnel cloud.
- Cloud of debris.
- Loud roar like a freight train.
- High speed winds.
- Pay close attention to weather reports.
- Choose a safe place and practice going there with your family to prepare.
- Always keep a safe distance away from others in your safe shelter.
What to do during:
- Go to your safe shelter immediately.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.
- Cover your head and neck for extra protection.
- Listen to your local alert systems for current emergency information. You can also listen to EAS and NOAA Weather Radio for information.
- If you happen to be outside or in your car, cover your arms and body with a coat or blanket.
What to do after:
- Continue listening to your local alert system, EAS or NOAA Weather Radio for updates.
- If you happen to be trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until they are safe.
- Save your phone calls for emergencies.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines.
For more information, visit ready.gov on how to prepare for tornadoes.