SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Tornadoes can strike suddenly leaving residents in their path with no time to prepare. While there is no guarantee of safety during a tornado, many can be survived using the precautions below.
Before the storm:
- Have a tornado plan in place
- Know where you can take shelter
- Have a meeting place for after the disaster
Know the signs:
- Strong persistent rotation in the cloud base
- Whirling dust or debris on the ground
- Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift
- Loud, continuous roar or rumble
- Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (at night this means that powerlines are being broken by strong winds)
What to do:
- Avoid windows
- Get to the lowest floor or basement of the structure
- Go to a small center room, interior hallway, bathroom, or closet
- Crouch on the floor, face down, hands covering the head
- Head protection, such as a helmet, can boost survivability also
If you are in a mobile home GET OUT even if the home is tied down it is not safe. Go to a nearby permanent structure.
If you are driving or in a vehicle, you should seek shelter immediately. Go to a sturdy building or underground shelter if possible. If this is not an option park the car as quickly and safely as possible, get out, and get lower than street level, lie down in that area and over your head with your hands, a blanket, coat, or other protective covering if possible.
If none of the above is possible stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt on, lower your head below the windows and dash, cover your head with your hands, a blanket, coat, or other protective covering.