Spring season may bring pretty flowers, green grass, and nice weather, but it’s also known to bring tornadoes. Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, the season for them in the South is March through May.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has some tips on how to 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 you are 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.
How 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.