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Tornado Safety Tips From the SKYWatch Team
Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 07:39 PM CDT
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--The difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning: A Tornado Watch is when conditions are right for the "potential" of tornadoes occurring. Once alerted, this is the time to know what your safety plan will be and have information sources available so you are weather aware.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted or that circulation has been observed which could spawn a tornado. This is the time to take immediate precautions.
--Don't Open Windows: Opening windows under the belief they will help equalize pressure is not safe. If a tornado hits your home, the windows will blast open regardless.
--Don't Run Under Bridges: Running or stopping under bridges is actually a dangerous idea. Debris can be sent flying underneath with the risk of severe injury. People can be blown from under bridges onto open land and into the tornado itself. The bridge could also fail, collapsing onto people or cars.
--Vehicles are "Death Traps": The NOAA says vehicles are notorious death traps because they are easily tossed and destroyed. It is best to exit the car and find sturdy shelter or drive out of the tornado's path. If neither option is available, the NOAA advises to find a low flat spot as far from the road as possible and lie in that spot.
--Download Smartphone Apps: There are apps which can help notify you of tornadoes. Since phone and power lines could be taken down during weather events, such apps provide a way of keeping you alert.