It's storm season here in West Texas and we have already seen the evidence of tornados and the threats of more. Do you know what to do in case of a tornado. Does your family have a plan? Do you know the signs of a tornado.

According to the NOAA website here are the signs of a tornado:

 

  • Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.
  • Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base -- tornadoes sometimes have no funnel!
  • Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen.
  • Day or night - Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.
  • Night - Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These mean power lines are being snapped by very strong wind, maybe a tornado.
  • Night - Persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning -- especially if it is on the ground or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.

NOAA

In the event of a tornado you should always have a plan. Get to the lowest floor of the structure you are in. Avoid in windows and get to most interior room of the building, a closet or bathroom. If you are in the bathroom it is best to get in the bathtub. Cover you head with some kind of padding, like a mattress.

If you are in a mobile home get out. Go to the nearest shelter or nearest sturdy building.

If you are caught in a car there is no real safe place just slightly less dangerous ones.  If you can see the tornado in the distance you might have time to drive to a safe shelter but that is not guaranteed. If there are high winds and debris, get parked quickly out of traffic.  Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway,leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Bridges and overpasses do not provide a safe shelter from a tornado.

If you are out in the open, get as low to the ground as possible and try to keep you head covered at all times. Stay away from trees and tall objects.