The American Red Cross offers advice for those in tornado-threatened areas, urging residents to prepare for such disasters in advance.
Tornadoes are ushered in with signs including dark, sometimes greenish clouds, large hail, a wall cloud or funnel cloud, flying debris, and a loud roar. In the event of an impending twister, the organization urges individuals to gather in a predetermined safe room – a basement, storm cellar, or a windowless interior room on the first floor.
Those in mobile homes should preemptively seek shelter in a permanent structure prior to a visible tornado and anyone left outside during such a storm should immediately find shelter.
The Red Cross offers a free application that alerts users when a tornado warning has been issued by the NOAA and allows individuals to easily send the message “I’m safe” to concerned loved ones.
Following a tornado, the agency urges individuals to wait for authorities to issue instructions before returning home and offered several other safety tips.
• Report fallen power lines or broken gas lines to the utility company and stay clear of such dangers and any damaged buildings.
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirt during the examination of a residence.
• Use flashlights, not candles, when examining buildings.
• Open and window and immediately leave any building upon smelling gas or hearing a blowing or hissing noise.
More information is available on the Red Cross website, redcross.org. The Red Cross Tornado App is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android.