Minnesota summers bring us sunshine, days on the lake, bonfires with friends, and unfortunately, severe weather. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in an average year, about 1,000 tornadoes are reported nationwide. Minnesota ranked 4th in the nation with 77 confirmed tornados and here in Austin, MN it feels like we get our fair share of bad weather. It is important to know what to do and where to seek shelter in severe weather. Here are some helpful tips on how to have a tornado safety plan to protect our family this tornado season.
Tip #1 - Be prepared
Be prepared for bad weather. Tornados are unpredictable and can strike without warning. Have an emergency kit ready to take with you to shelter. Items to include are:
important information or documents
Tip #2 - Follow weather conditions
It can be helpful to know what weather patterns to look for when severe weather is predicted. A dark or green-colored sky and large hail often precede tornados. If a storm rages and suddenly becomes eerily still, it’s a sign that a tornado may be on the way. You may also see a large, low-hanging cloud or hear a roar similar to a train.
The most important thing is to stay up-to-date with weather forecasts and live updates. It is helpful to keep and emergency radio near by so you can follow with your local weather stations.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in an average year, about 1,000 tornadoes are reported nationwide.
Tip #3 - Know where to shelter
When bad weather hits, know where to shelter. Have a plan for your home, work and if you are out and about. Make sure all family members know where to go in case of a tornado. It is suggested to go to the lowest point in your home away from windows such as the basement, a bathroom or closet. If you are able, cover yourself with something sturdy to protect from falling debris.
Stairs are constructed to support a tremendous amount of weight so seeking shelter underneath a stairwell is often considered a safe space during a tornado.
If you are in a car when a tornado strikes, authorities suggest going to the nearest shelter site or pulling over and stopping the car if you can't get to a shelter in time.