Families can benefit from having disaster plans in place, especially if they live in an area of the country where tornadoes frequently occur. The first thing to determine is where everyone should take cover during a tornado. A basement is the safest location, followed by an interior room or bathroom. Bathrooms are a good choice because their plumbing is anchored into the ground, plus they have extra framing. A hall is the next best place, as long as you have something heavy to hide under, because falling debris will probably get to you before the actual tornado. If you live in a mobile home, plan to head to an underground community shelter. If there is no such facility available, select a low-lying ditch nearby. You should designate an out-of-town family member as a contact person in case your family gets separated, and make sure everyone knows his or her number by heart.
Did You Know?
The American Red Cross has established a list of must-have items to keep on hand in case of a disaster situation:
- first-aid kit including any family member's essential medication.
- battery-powered radio
- flashlight and extra batteries
- bottled water
- canned and boxed foods and a hand-operated can opener
- candles and matches
- work gloves and sturdy shoes
- cash and credit cards
- written instructions on how to turn off the utilities in your home