MEMA: Tips to prepare your home and family for a tornado

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Courtesy: William Vineyard

PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has some tips to help you prepare your home and family for a tornado.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IN YOUR HOME DURING A TORNADO:
  • Go to the lowest level of the home, an inner hallway, or smaller inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
  • Get away from windows and go to the center of the room. Avoid corners, because they tend to attract debris.
  • Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table.
IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME:
  • Evacuate the mobile home, even if it is equipped with tie-downs. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation, or if one is not available, lie in a ditch or low-lying area a safe distance away from the mobile home. Tornadoes cannot change elevation quickly enough to pick someone up out of a ditch, especially a deep ditch or culvert.
IF YOU ARE AT WORK OR SCHOOL:
  • Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level of the building.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
IF OUTDOORS:
  • If possible, get inside a sturdy building with a concrete foundation.
  • If shelter is not available, or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
  • Be aware of the potential for flooding.
IF YOU ARE IN A VEHICLE:
  • Never try to out drive a tornado in your vehicle. Tornadoes can change direction very quickly and can lift a vehicle and toss it in the air
  • Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the vehicle and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.
TO PREPARE FOR EXTREME HEAT:
  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers.
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

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