Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Tornado’s and Tornadon’ts: Tips for Surviving a Tornado

You won’t believe this:

The United States has the highest occurrence of tornadoes in the world. 

Crazy, huh? Ok maybe not. But if you live in the U.S. and don’t know anything about surviving a tornado — don’t worry, I got you covered.

In this post, I’m going to cover important tips for surviving a tornado.

(And things to avoid).

Let’s get started! 

Here’s What You Should DO

1. Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning

The first step in surviving a tornado is understanding the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. On the contrary, a tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and you should seek shelter immediately. 

Make sure that your children know the differences as well so they understand the severity of the situation.

2. Prepare an Emergency Tornado Kit

Some things to keep in this kit might include:

  • Non-perishable food
  • A battery-operated radio or other devices capable of accessing local weather reports, and plenty of batteries.
  • An emergency plan where you have figured out where you will go to seek shelter.
  • An AR-15 equipped with a scope. This might be a little over-the-top, but I always like to keep my AR with me at all times — even during tornados. 
  • Water (at least 1 gallon per person per day)
  • Rain gear
  • Medications
  • Dust Mask

If you’d like a more in-depth emergency kit list, then check out the Department of Homeland Security’s emergency supply checklist

3. Take Cover

A tornado warning has been alarmed and you’ve grabbed your emergency tornado kit. What’s next? Take cover. Here’s how: 

First, go to the lowest level of a building. This will help protect you from intense winds and any flying debris. 

Next, hide under some kind of sturdy object. This could be anything like a:

  • Heavy Table
  • Work Bench
  • Mattress

Finally, while you’re hiding, cover your head and neck with your arms or some form of protection like a helmet, blanket, etc. 

4. Keep Track of Weather Reports

Listen to a battery-powered radio or use your phone to monitor social media for tornado updates. 

This is one of the safest ways to find out when you’re clear to go outside. 

Here’s What You Should NOT Do

1. Don’t Go Near Windows, Doors, or Outside Walls. 

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Tornadoes can easily break through windows, sending glass shards your way. Not good. So you want to avoid staying near any window at ALL costs.

Also, doors and outside walls can be blasted away by the powerful winds. Minimize these risks by getting on the lowest level of a building and staying away from windows or walls that lead to the outside.

2. Don’t Try to Outrun a Tornado in a Vehicle 

You can’t do it. Nope. Don’t even try. A lot of rednecks live in Tornado Alley, so you might think you can best a tornado in your truck, but you can’t. 

Its winds are simply too fast. That said, you have a couple options if you’re in a vehicle:

  1. If the tornado is far away and not headed toward you, your best bet is to book it in the opposite direction and get out of the storm’s path. 
  2. If it’s coming your way, seek shelter in a sturdy building immediately. If no building is around, get out of your car. Get as far away from your car and the road and lie down in a low spot until the storm passes over.

3. Don’t Stay Under a Bridge or Overpass 

There is a common myth that if you are in a vehicle when a tornado strikes, the best place to hide out is under a bridge. 

Not true. It might seem like it would be safer to have a bridge over your head, but that is not the case. Why? Because winds could blow debris under the bridge. 

Even worse, the tornado could make the bridge collapse on top of you. 

4. Don’t Stay in a Mobile Home

Mobile homes are in no way designed to be safe in a tornado. 

They can easily be uprooted by strong winds. If your mobile home park has an assigned safe space, head there immediately. 

If not, go to the nearest sturdy building and hide out there, avoiding windows, doors and outside walls (as we’ve already mentioned earlier).

5. Don’t Enter Damaged Buildings 

After the storm, a building may look safe on the outside, but there is no way to tell how the structure has been damaged on the inside.

Even if only the windows are broken, you don’t want to take a chance on stepping on broken glass. Wait until an official has announced the building safe before venturing in.

Now Its Your Turn

With these tips alone, you’ll have a MUCH higher chance of surviving a tornado. 

However, if you’re interested in learning more about prepping for a tornado, I recommend watching this video by the U.S. Weather Gov:

That said, I’d like to hear from you:

Have you ever experienced a tornado? If so, what did you do to stay safe? 

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below. 

Author Bio:

Richard Douglas is the founder of Scopes Field, his personal blog where he reviews the best scopes and guns on the market. Richard has been featured on various publications like NEWSREP, ODU Magazine, Boyds Gun Stocks, Burris Optics, JPFO and so much more.

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