Following the devastating tornadoes that swept across the Midwest and South early Wednesday morning, we urge you, your family, and your friends to take a moment or two now and prepare for what’s turning out to be an early tornado season.
- Pick a safe place in your home or apartment building, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room with no windows, where household members and pets can gather.
- Use a weather radio that broadcasts National Weather Service watches and warnings. A weather radio can alert you to storms during the night, helping to save your life or the lives of your loved ones. Learn more in this NPR story.
- Watch for tornado warning signs such as dark, greenish clouds, large hail, a roaring noise, a cloud of debris or funnel clouds. Secure outside items such as lawn furniture or trash cans, which could be picked up by the wind and injure someone.
- If a tornado watch is issued, it means tornadoes are possible and you should be ready to act quickly. If a tornado warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar and you should go underground immediately to a basement or storm cellar or to an interior room such as a bathroom or closet.
- If a tornado warning is issued and you are outside, you should hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building. If you cannot get to a building, you should get in a vehicle, buckle in, and drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
- If flying debris occurs while you are driving, you should pull over and stay in the car with the seat belt on and your head below the window, covering your head with a blanket or other available protection.
- If you do not not have a vehicle, you should find ground lower than the surface of the roadway and cover your head with your hands.
You can help those affected by disasters like the Midwest tornadoes and storms, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Consider making a donation today by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or sending a text with the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.