Preparing for a Tornado

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May 5, 2008

A roadway with storm clouds and lightning in the distanceSpring storm season is upon us and storms with straight line winds, hail and lightening can be extremely dangerous and damaging. Here are a few tips to make this time of year a little safer.


  1. Determine the safest place in your home to wait out a storm. Make sure all family members know where to go in the event of a weather emergency. If you do not have a basement or storm shelter choose a small room or closet in the center of the home.
  2. Stay away from windows
  3. Heavy furniture can provide additional shelter
  4. Designate a meeting spot outside your home where all family members meet in the event of a fire or weather disaster.
  5. If you seek shelter in your basement make sure the path is unobstructed. My basement is a catch all and often times there is no place to go because of all the junk. Clean up an area and keep it clear.
  6. Keep drinking water on hand (a 3 gallon container per person is recommended.)
  7. Keep your flashlights in the same place so you can find them even in the dark when the electricity goes out.
  8. Create a "disaster supply kit" which includes your water, flashlights, blankets, canned foods, and a manual can opener. If possible purchase a battery or crank radio.
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  10. Keep your pet's carrier or leash in the same spot so you can find it easily in a storm. My Golden Retriever won't go into the basement and has to be forcibly carried (a hazard to my DH and her!)
  11. Check your batteries monthly and replace as necessary. Nothing is worse than having dead flashlights batteries.
  12. A WATCH means conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather.

    A WARNING means severe weather has been reported or detected by RADAR. Seek shelter immediately and stay tuned to weather reports.

  13. If severe weather hits, Keep calm and follow instructions from the national weather service.
Do not call 911 to ask "What Happened" Remember that 911 is for (injured) people needing assistance in an actual emergency-tune into the radio instead to get up to date information.

Source: Excerpted from LG$E Power Source April 2008 flyer and my own experiences and common sense.

By Diana from Prospect, KY

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

We had a tornado in January in SE Wisconsin this year. No one was killed, thank goodness, but several homes were totally destroyed and it made people much more aware of severe weather.

Don't forget important papers - deeds, insurance papers, medical records and prescriptions, bank and credit card statements, mortgage papers, name/address/phone number book, treasured photos, etc. Make photocopies and keep them in a second safe place.

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June 9, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

Good tips for storm season. I don't live in the US anymore, but I always found a NOAA weather radio to be a good thing to have. Many models feature alarms that can alert your family if severe weather is approaching in the middle of the night.


A portable police scanner is also a good way to pick up on what's going on in your area during a storm. The police and state troopers will broadcast to each other storm movements, downed trees, traffic signal failures, etc.

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