Today is definitely one of those days any Northern Virginia resident should brush up on the “what to do’s” when there’s a tornado watch or warning. With a tornado warning in effect for the Washington DC Metro area until 5 pm tonight, we thought we’d hit a few key points on tornado and strong weather safety.
As always,Â planning ahead is key in preventing loss of life and property in storms, so before the storm even hits, sit down your family and come up with a tornado plan.Â Know where you can take shelter in a matter of seconds and practice a family tornado drill at least once a year. Have a pre-determined place to meet after a disaster.Â Flying debrisÂ is the greatest danger in tornadoes, so store protective coverings such as mattress, sleeping bags, and thick blankets in or next to your shelter space, ready to use on a short notice. Stock up on safety supplies as well. Keep a battery powered radio handy along with a set of flash lights and extra batteries.
Ok, so that’s pre-planning. Now it’s important to knowÂ whatÂ signs of an approaching tornado to look out for.Â Weather forecasting science is not perfect and some tornadoes do occur without a tornado warning. There is no substitute for staying alert to the sky. Besides anÂ obviously visible tornado, here are some things to look and listen for:
So now you know what to do before a tornado warning, how to spot an approaching tornado, and now it’s time to cover what to do when that happens.Â The National Weather Service has provided various scenarios and what to do in each…
Once the tornado has passed, stay with family / friends in the safe area. Attend to those who have been injured and stay away from power lines and puddles near electric objects. Stay away from buildings and do not reenter a building until it has been deemed safe by engineers as these buildings could be weakened from the storm damage. Watch out for glass and nails in the debris. Do NOT use lighters or matches due to potential for leaking gas lines in the area. Stay calm and listen to local law enforcement for information following a tornado.
(Tornado prep facts viaÂ http://www.spc.noaa.gov)Â