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Tornadoes are powerful and destructive forces of nature that can strike anywhere and anytime. They can cause severe damage to buildings, vehicles, trees, and anything else in their path. Tornadoes can also injure or kill people who are caught in their way. Therefore, it is important to know how to stay safe during a tornado, especially if you are outside and have no access to a sturdy shelter.

How to Recognize a Tornado

The first step to staying safe during a tornado is to be aware of the weather conditions and the signs of a possible tornado. A tornado is a rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. Sometimes, you can see the funnel-shaped cloud that forms the tornado, but other times, the tornado may be hidden by rain, dust, or darkness. Some of the signs that a tornado may be approaching are:

  • A dark or green-colored sky
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud
  • Large hail
  • A loud roar that sounds like a freight train
  • A sudden change in wind direction or speed

If you notice any of these signs, you should take cover immediately and stay tuned to local radio, TV, or internet for further weather information. You may not always receive a tornado warning from the authorities, so you need to trust your instincts and act fast.

How to Find Shelter Outside

The best place to shelter from a tornado is a safe room built to withstand high winds, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. However, if you are outside and have no access to such a shelter, you need to find the next best alternative. Here are some tips on how to find shelter outside:

  • If you are in a car, do not try to outrun the tornado. Tornadoes can move faster than cars and change direction unpredictably. Instead, drive away from the tornado if possible, or park your car and get out. Do not stay in your car, as it can be picked up and thrown by the tornado.
  • If you are near a sturdy building, go inside and seek shelter in the lowest floor, away from windows and doors. Avoid large open spaces such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, or cafeterias, as they may collapse under the pressure of the wind.
  • If you are in an open area, such as a field or a park, look for a low spot such as a ditch, culvert, or ravine. Lie down flat and cover your head and neck with your arms or a coat. Stay away from trees, power lines, and other objects that may fall or fly around.
  • If you are near a bridge or an overpass, do not go under it. The wind may be stronger under the bridge and may cause debris to pile up. Instead, find a low spot away from the bridge and lie down flat.
  • If you are near water, such as a lake or a river, do not go into it. The water may be contaminated by debris or chemicals from the storm. Instead, find a low spot on land and lie down flat.

How to Stay Safe After the Tornado

After the tornado passes, you should still be cautious and follow these steps:

  • Check yourself and others for injuries and call for help if needed.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings, power lines, gas leaks, and other hazards.
  • Listen to local authorities for instructions on where to go and what to do.
  • Do not enter any damaged buildings until they are declared safe by the officials.
  • Do not touch any fallen wires or broken objects that may be electrified or sharp.
  • Do not drink any water that may be contaminated by debris or chemicals from the storm.

Tornadoes are unpredictable and dangerous events that can happen at any time of the year. By knowing how to recognize them, how to find shelter outside, and how to stay safe after they pass, you can increase your chances of survival and minimize your risks of injury. Remember to always stay alert and prepared for any weather emergencies.

If you are looking for any outside storm shelter call OKC Shelters today.