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Tornadoes occur around the world; over 1000 a year, happen in the US alone. The death toll can range from single digits to the hundreds. The period in which tornadoes are known to strike is March through August.

Keeping death related injuries from tornadoes at a minimum begins with safety precautions and readiness.

There are some basic tornado safety tips that people should be familiar with. Knowing a safe place to go in an instant and having a family plan in place can save lives. It is recommended to do a practice a drill once a year.

Tornadoes do occur without warning, so when the weather seems unpredictable keeping your eye on the sky may be a good idea. Stay alert of some of the signs. If there is a rotation in the clouds, whirling dust or debris on the ground, heavy rain or hail followed by a calm or fast shift in the wind, you hear a continuous roar, or you see flashes of light on the ground don’t take a chance and seek safe shelter till it passes.

If you find yourself in the middle of a tornado, you will need to optimize your safety. If you are at home, avoid all windows and go down to the basement. If your home does not have a way for you to go underground, go to the lowest floor and find a room in the center like a bathroom, closet, or a stairwell. If you are in a mobile home get out immediately; go to the nearest sturdy building to seek shelter.

Keeping your family together and waiting for help to come is safer especially at night when sight is limited. If you can help those who are injured safely, then do so until emergency help arrives. Stay away from fallen power lines. Watch out for broken glass, nails, or other sharp dangerous objects and debris. Do not go into other buildings or homes that are severely damaged. Never use lighters or matches in the event there is a gas leak somewhere. If it is safe, stay where you are and wait for the local officials.

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