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As severe weather season approaches, take some time during Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week to put together a safety plan with your family, friends or household. Planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event that severe weather, such as a tornado, strikes.
Ensure that everyone knows the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar – similar to a freight train. Pay attention to the weather and to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict or forecast when conditions might be right for a tornado to develop.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that comes in contact with the ground – usually descending from the base of a severe thunderstorm. Tornadoes are usually visible as funnel clouds. Related severe thunderstorms can produce heavy rains, flash flooding and hail.
Whether practicing in a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!
D - Go DOWN to the lowest level
U - Get UNDER something
C - COVER your head
K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed
Identify where you would go in the event of a tornado. Practice taking shelter while following social and physical distancing, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and your local health authorities.
Ideal storm shelters in the event of high winds include a safe room built using FEMA criteria, or a storm shelter built to ICC-500 standards. The next best protection would be a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
Your home inventory is only useful if it’s accurate and you can access it to provide information to your insurance company in case of tornado, flood, fire, theft, or other destructive disaster. Regardless of the medium you’ve used to create your list, keep it up-to-date, backed up, and in a safe place. A home inventory can assist you in receiving accurate value from a potential loss, and to streamline your claim-filing experience.