How do you prepare for and mitigate the damage caused by a tornado?

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Before a tornado hits, you want to familiarize yourself with emergency warning systems used in your community. Make note of disaster risks in your area, like damaged household gas lines and poorly constructed buildings. Know how to turn off your water, gas, and electricity, and instruct others how to do the same. Check into insurance and a backup power generator, develop an emergency plan with your family, and construct a supply kit. Become familiar with emergency plans for buildings you use often, like your child’s daycare or school building. Make specific emergency plans for pets, the elderly, and the disabled. During a tornado (mitigation) you want to go to the storm cellar, or lowest level of a building. If you can’t get underground, go to a room or hallway without windows, and stay in the center of the room away from corners. Get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on while using your arms to protect your head and neck. Never take shelter in a mobile home, which can be picked up and carried off by a tornado. Get inside a building with solid foundations, or into a ditch if nothing else is available. You’ll want the ditch to be away from any mobile homes or things that can go flying, and preferably the ditch should be deep.

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