Statistics show that tornados begin their assault in April in the Gulf Coast area and then lift north and west into the summer.  Late May to mid-June is the expected peak period for tornados in the U.S.

Planning for this potential disaster should be an absolute for every family and business in our area.  Here are some primary plans to consider:

  1. First, know the difference between a tornado watch (Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information) and a tornado warning (A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately)..
  2. Have a family or business communication plan – Identify shelter locations – An underground area is best but if it is unavailable, seek a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Avoid auditoriums, cafeterias and gyms that have flat, wide-span roofs.  If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building.  If one is not within walking distance, drive, using a seat belt, to the nearest shelter.  Have a plan for accounting for all family members or employees.
  3. Unlock exterior doors and disconnect any automatic door openers so that doors can still be opened by anyone needing shelter.
  4. Create an emergency kit in the event rescuers cannot reach you immediately. Items to consider are:  medications required by family members or employees,  drinking water, easy to access food items, battery-operated radio, flashlight, first-aid kit.
  5. If backup power supplies are needed, do not use a generator indoors or inside a garage due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  6. Following a tornado, cover broken windows and damaged roof as quickly as possible.