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Tornado Safety

Every year, thousands of people are terrified by the presence of the most powerful and destructive force on the planet. Fortunately, we have learned a thing or two about how to protect ourselves from these severe weather phenomenon's and decrease our chances of injury to ourselves and our families.

Below is a list of helpful hints on what to do in case of a tornado.

Before
When the skies look threatening, listen to the radio. The National Weather Service tracks all weather systems with sophisticated radar and is usually able to give adequate warning of violent weather conditions.

When a watch is issued, listen to broadcast advisories and be ready to take cover. It is wise to collect a battery powered light, radio and have family members within earshot under watch conditions. Also, take your car keys; should a tornado hit your area, your car may still be operable but keys would be lost in the rubble.

Take an inventory of all your household furnishings and personal belongings. In case of tornado or other disaster, this inventory will be invaluable to you in settling your insurance claim. Make sure you keep your inventory in a safe place, like a bank safe deposit box.

During
A tornado sounds like the roar of hundreds of airplanes. You'll probably get warning before that ominous sound approaches. We suggest you listen to the radio when the sky looks forbidding.

A Tornado Watch means tornadoes may be expected to develop.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has actually been sighted.

For further protection, move to your basement. Get under a heavy table or work bench if possible. If you have no basement, take cover in small, windowless interior rooms on the lowest level, such as closets or bathrooms.

If you're in an office building or school, protect yourself in an interior hallway or a lower floor. Avoid auditorium or gymnasiums or other structures with wide, free span roofs.

In mobile homes or vehicles, leave them and go to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert with your hands shielding your head.

After
Closely inspect your property, including automobiles, for damage. Report any gas leaks or electrical damage immediately.

If your home is damaged, get in touch with your insurance agent or company. In the meantime, secure your remaining property to protect it from further damage or theft. Take an inventory of the damage so you can file your insurance claim as soon as possible. Notify your relatives of your safety. Local authorities may waste time trying to locate you if you don't send word. Limit your calls to one minute each. Do not tie up the telephone lines with unnecessary calls. Cooperate in the general clean-up of debris.