You're fast asleep in bed on a Tuesday night. It's 2:43 AM and you have work the next morning just like any other day. Suddenly your phone goes off with an alert and you hear loud sirens echoing across your neighborhood. There's a large tornado plowing straight through your community.
What do you do?
Tornadoes can form during a severe storm, during a clear day, and even form over the water as a water spout. These devastating events can rip through homes, lift animals and people, and send debris flying. Tornadoes in North America have been recorded in the famous "Tornado Alley" and in the state of Florida, including the Tampa Bay area.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for this situation:
Put together a "Go Bag." This bag should contain anything you might need to survive on your own for at least 3 days. Included within the bag should be nonperishable food, drinking water, an emergency battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio, first aid kit, a local map, a flashlight, batteries, and more. For more information on building a bag, click here.
Because of the relative short notice of tornadoes, having your kit available for a quick evacuation is VERY important. Every minute counts.
Have a plan. Contact nearby friends or family ahead of time, in case you may need a place to stay in the event that a tornado damages your home.
If unavailable to safely leave the area, take cover. Go to the lowest floor of the structure you are in and stay away from the windows, waiting for the tornado to pass.
For more safety tips about tornadoes, visit Ready.gov's Tornadoes Page