Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms and they are Georgia’s No. 1 weather-related killer. They can develop without warning and oftentimes can be hidden by trees or rain. Be prepared to act quickly. Planning and practicing specifically how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, making advance preparation vitally important.
Before A Tornado
- A storm can strike suddenly and it may occur when family members are in different places, so develop a family communications plan.
- Make a Ready kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency. Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a tornado hazard.
- A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.
- A tornado warning means either a tornado is occurring or expected to develop shortly in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible in the best option.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- Consider building a safe room. You can find plans for building or reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
- Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how your community sends warnings. Some communities use sirens, others use a mass notification system, and still others depend on media to alert residents to severe storms. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.