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Before the tornado
• Become familiar with the type of alarm or notification system your local government will put into effect to let you know if a tornado watch or warning is being issued. Above all, don’t wait until a tornado warning is issued to find out what to do. Make sure everyone in the family is fully prepared to take responsibility for his or her own safety.
• The best preparation for a tornado is to be alert to changing weather patterns. Pay attention to weather reports and rely on your own instincts and experience.
• Nature provides certain environmental clues that may precede a tornado. Look for a dark, greenish sky, a wall of clouds and pieces of hail sometimes as large as grapefruits. Eyewitnesses say a tornado produces aloud roar, similar to that of an approaching freight train.
During the tornado
• The safest place to be during a tornado is underground. If there is no basement in your home, a small room in the middle of the house is best. Stay away from windows.
• Get under a steady piece of furniture, such as a heavy table or desk. Hold on to it and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
• If you live in a mobile home, even if it has tie-downs, you should leave and seek shelter somewhere else.
• If there is no safe place inside, go outside and lie flat on the ground with your hands over your head and neck.
• If you’re in a car, get out and seek a safe shelter or lie down in a low area, again with your hands over your head and neck.
• If you’re in a high-rise building, make your way to an interior room on the lowest floor. Avoid windows.
After a tornado
• Check for injured or trapped persons. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
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