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Monday, April 29, 2019

Severe Weather Prep Series Part 1: Tornado

No one likes to hear that tornado siren blasting, or the words "Hurricane Warning". Unfortunately, in the South, we have seen plenty of our fair share of both.

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Here in South Mississippi, it's a guarantee that one or both events will happen at some point during any given year.

In this 2 part series, I thought I would share with you some ways that you can prepare ahead of time and perhaps help with the days before it hits, during the storm, and tips on navigating the aftermath.

First, I want to discuss the powerful destructiveness of tornadoes.

"I don't think we are in Kansas anymore, Toto!" I just had to throw in a line from my favorite movie!

A mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.

Tornadoes can form within minutes, can be short lived or lasting for miles, and can be extremely unpredictable in nature. The devastation can be incredible and terrifying. 

But, you can prepare ahead of time!

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A Tornado Watch has been Issued:

(This means current conditions conditions are favorable for a tornado to form.)

Designate a safe area for protection.
This could be a closet, bathroom, or storm shelter. This should be a room with no windows, preferably with no outside walls as close to the center of the house as possible. In my house, this is a walk-in closet right in the middle of my house. My bathrooms are along outside walls and have windows, so they are not a good safe place.

 Go ahead and prepare your safe room in case a warning is issued. Once a warning sounds, there isn't a lot of time to gather what you may need.

A few supplies that we place there are: Heavy blanket, pillows, shoes for everyone in house (preferably tennis shoes or boots), socks in shoes, football helmets for kids (in case of flying debris protect their heads! Pots will work, as well), and flashlight with fresh batteries. I, also, grab any daily meds needed, put them in my purse and place it with the car keys in the closet.

I always keep an emergency first aid backpack with wipes, hand sanitizer, a small pack of tissues, some paper towels, band aids and gauze, a couple of trash bags, and antibiotic cream in that closet on a shelf. It's always packed and ready to go.

Crack open a window in the rooms where you are mostly staying.
This is so we can hear a tornado siren better as soon as it sounds.

Keep a close eye on the weather, local news, or the radio. 
Having a weather alert radio is an excellent idea and money well spent!

Go ahead and put your phone and other electronics on charge!
If power lines are knocked down, you will be thankful for that full battery. Don't forget to charge your kids electronic devices, as well.


A Tornado Warning is issued:

(This means a tornado has either been sighted or the current radar depicts one for your immediate area.)

Have everyone immediately and calmly go to the safe place.
My husband and I are always last since I am turning up the TV volume (to hear in our safe area) and he will pull all supplies from the hallway into the closet.

Kids put on their helmets then socks and shoes if needed.
The blanket and pillows are there to cover you to protect from any debris or glass.

If you can still here the siren, the danger is still imminent!
Stay where you are. Do not attempt to capture that cool pic of the oncoming tornado. Your lives are way more important than a viral Facebook video!

Listen for the siren to stop or, if like me and you can't hear one close by, listen for the newscaster saying all clear in your area.

After the Tornado has passed:

First and foremost,
calm anxious kids and check for any physical injuries. 

Check on your pets.
Most likely, they will frightened and confused.

Assess any damage first in the house.
Broken windows? Power outage? Roof damage?

Check the yard, driveway, and outside areas.
Any trees down? Road blocked? Power lines down? How's the car?

Check on neighbors, family, and friends. 

Video any and all damage.
Now, here's where your cell phone camera will come in handy. This will help immensely with your insurance claims.

Extra Tips!

Here are a few more tips and reminders that you need to be prepared for.

Do not go around downed power lines, even if you have no electricity!
Instead, report the downed lines to your power company as soon as possible.

Don't be so quick to ride around town to see the damage.
Power crews, emergency personnel, and road workers are working overtime to help your community after the storm! Unnecessary sight seers are just hindering their progress.

Until you have thoroughly accessed the dangers, do not let your kids play in any rubble.
Rusty pieces of sharp metal or broken glass can hide in the grass or debris.

When starting clean up, wear heavy duty work gloves!

Something that few think about after a tornado are the dangers of uprooted and confused wild life. Wasps, hornets, and bees may have had disturbed nests and may be on the defensive. Be watchful!

Talking about wildlife, be sure to be vigilant with snakes, as well.
Fallen limbs or rubble are perfect places for them to be hiding. Another good reason to be wearing boots!

I bought a water and fireproof lock box years ago (best investment ever and very affordable!)
Every few months or so, I make sure our important papers...birth certificates, insurance, family contacts, favorite snap shots, small amount of cash...are kept in the lock box.

A lot of these tips can be utilized in the event of a hurricane, as well. Typically, if you are in the path or outlying areas of a hurricane, you may experience a few tornadoes from its spin off.
(As if a hurricane is not scary enough, Mother Nature!)

Part 2 of this series will discuss the various ways to prepare before, during, and after a hurricane moves through your area.

I hope these tips will help you prepare and bring a little ease of mind when severe weather strikes!

Do you have any helpful tips?
Let everyone know below in the comments, and as always feel free to share with others.

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  1. Great tips! We don't experience A LOT of tornadoes where we are but there's at least one or two every year. We live in an apartment and the lowest most interior room with no windows is the master bedroom closet. We keep a "bug out bag" with necessities for 1-2 days (working on getting more), first aid kit, flashlight, radio and coloring supplies in there. I've never thought about using pots or pans for head protection, that's a great idea! Saving this for later!

    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! The bug out bag (I love that name btw!) is the greatest, isn't it?!

  2. This is such a great reminder! We get lots of severe weather here, so it's always good to be extra precautious!

  3. That it is, Dara! I'm happy you found it as a good reminder. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I lived in Texas for years and was very close to a tornado once...i was at a friends and away from my family, I was so terrified but we made it through...these are awesome tips

    1. I bet that was scary! I'm glad everything turned out ok for you and appreciate your sharing with me!

  5. I have never experienced one here in he UK but reading your post makes me think how scary it could be. With technology at least you have a good amount of warning and avenues where you can track. Thanks for sharing. Amar Singh

    1. It can be scary but being prepared always helps. Technology has definitely come a long way in forecasting, hasn't it? Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  6. Though I don't like where tornadoes are likely to happen, hit is very informative. We should all kow the basics of what to do in different severe weather situations.

    1. Absolutely, Sarah! Being informed and prepared is always a good thing especially in high stress situations. I appreciate you coming by!

  7. my entire life, I have never experienced a tornado. Just strong winds and rains and that is all! One to keep in mind.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. It's my pleasure! Many people have not experienced a tornado, but you never know if you will at some point. Always good to be prepared!Thanks for stopping in!

  8. Great tips! We're a military family and this life takes us all over the country. It's good to be prepared.

    1. Thank you for your family's service, first of all Colleen! And yes, I know that a lot of people just traveling thru, or recently moved into the area are sometimes not knowing what to do when tornados strike. It's a good bit of the reason that I wanted to share our plan.

  9. Tornados are I be of my biggest fears. Thank God we rarely have them where we live.

    1. It's a big fear for a lot of people. I hope being prepared and knowing what to do can ease your fear just slightly.

  10. I am sure it is really dangerous but for curiosity sake I would like to experience it from a far.. May be seeing it in person is enough.

    1. I can understand that curiosity! Unfortunately here, a lot of times they are rain wrapped or obscured from trees. However, I've seen one form and drop before. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  11. These are some extraordinary devices that i unquestionably use for SEO work. This is an awesome rundown to use later on.. a weather radio

    1. I'm glad you found it helpful, Max! And I'm stoked that you stopped in. SEO, does that refer to the Sheriff's Branch of Law Enforcement? If so, I want to thank you for your service and stay safe!

    2. Bloggers use the term SEO, as well, however with different meanings. So I wasnt sure LOL!



Hi, there! My name is Shannon Dewease and I'm so happy you found my blog. I am from beautiful South Mississippi and live here with my family. My life can get a little chaotic, comical, and down right complicated, as you will find out. I can't wait to begin sharing my misadventures with you!

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