In the midst of tornado season, be prepared

Follow these tips to stay safe

Tornado season in the Midwest peaks in June and July, and it is important to be prepared.

Did you know that the United States of America gets over 1,200 tornadoes a year, more than any other country? Tornado safety is an important thing to keep in mind as summer starts.

One of the things that come with living in the Midwest is preparing for dangerous weather, and tornado season is no different. For the upper Midwest, tornado season is generally in June and July, but tornadoes can be a danger during any season, depending on weather conditions. Tornadoes can pose a significant threat to life and property with their damaging winds

During tornado season, it is important to be properly prepared. Make sure you and your family are safe by following these safety tips:

Have a plan: Have a plan set in place and practice it before a storm arrives. Make sure every family member knows where in the house to go – either the basement or cellar, or a secure room on the first floor away from windows and doors, and exterior walls.

Stay informed: Tune in to a local TV or radio station, or the NOAA Weather Radio, to stay alerted of warnings and watches. A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado is possible. A tornado warning is issued by your local forecast office when a tornado has been spotted or appears on the radar.

Avoid hazards and potential dangers: After a tornado, provide care to any injuries that may have occurred, while remaining alert and aware of any hazards including damage to homes or buildings and electrical or gas lines. Continue to listen for important updates and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Be prepared. It is better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to have an emergency preparedness kit ready beforehand and make sure to replace any missing items. A proper preparedness kit should include the following items:

  • First aid supplies
  • Critical prescriptions and other medications
  • Water – 1 gallon per person, per day for a minimum of three days
  • Non-perishable foods and a manual can opener
  • Pet supplies
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone and charger with a backup battery
  • Whistle to call for help
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio to listen for emergency updates