With the recent line of tornadoes hitting the midwest this past week, it's important to be a bit more proactive this year in your "severe weather" planning. While severe weather and tornadoes are nothing new to the midwest, having tornadoes in February and March is unusual. On Friday, March 2nd alone, there had been over one hundred reported tornadoes, resulting in one of the deadliest March days since 1994.
The most important thing you can do when preparing for sever weather is to involve your whole family. Prepare everyone. Prepare yourselves…prepare your children. Before severe weather strikes, confirm with your insurance company that tornado damage is covered under your policy. Prepare a supply box that includes battery operated radios, candles, flashlights, blankets, and batteries. Keeping a wrench near your gas meter is important too if you need to shut off the gas.
In the midst of a tornado, locate the lowest place in your house for cover. If you don't have a basement, taking cover in an interior doorway or hallway is your best bet. While taking cover, you need to keep your head covered to protect yourself from flying debris, keep windows closed, stay away from them, and stay inside. If you're in a car, pull off the road and get out of the car and into a ditch.
Remember, sometimes sirens go off after it's too late, so be proactive when taking cover. Watches and warning are only beneficial if they're heard. Owning a weather radio when tornadoes strike at night can save lives. It is our hope, at Civil Dispatch, to have a more localized alert system with our emergency dispatching system, especially with families and communities of rural areas. If you, or someone you know can utilize Civil Dispatch for weather emergencies, please contact us! If this early tornado season can teach us anything, it's that our warning systems are simply not enough. Developing a safety plan with your family can save time, and lives.