1. Tornadoes- are violently rotating columns of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground.
2. Know the difference between watches and warnings:
TORNADO WATCHES- Alerts you that tornadoes are possible. Watch for approaching storms. Stayed tuned to local radio and television to know when warnings are issued.
TORNADO WARNINGS- Alerts you that a tornado has been spotted by a trained storm spotter or that radar is detecting rapid circulation within a storm. When a warning is issued- do not hesitate- take shelter immediately!
**Tornadoes can strike quickly with little or no warning**
3. NOAA- Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a battery backup at all times in case of severe weather.
4. Know the county or parish in which you live.
5. Seek shelter in a basement or storm cellar. If underground shelter is not available, locate the interior-most part of your house, building or hallway on the lowest level. Put as many walls between you and the outside. Cover yourself with blankets, pillows and or mattresses.
7. Stay away from doors ad windows. Do not open windows. Close blinds, shades and curtains to help protect against breaking glass and flying debris.
8. Have your disaster supply kit packed and ready. For a complete checklist for your supply kit please click here
9. If caught outside- lie flat in a nearby ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of potential flooding.
10. Never try to outrun a tornado- instead leave your vehicle immediately and seek a safe shelter.
11. Watch for flying debris- Flying debris causes the most injuries and fatalities.
12. Abandon mobile homes, trailers and vehicles and go to a nearby shelter or seek a sturdy nearby building.
13. Personal Property Records- take photographs or videotapes of the exterior and interior of your home including personal belongings. Store these items in a safety deposit box or fire proof box some place other than your home.
Location: Union City, Oklahoma Photo Date: May 24, 1973 Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)