Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
The Practical Prepper
Growing up in the Midwest, tornadoes have been a risk every year of my life. They are violent, destructive forces, as many people discover every year. I'm very grateful that I've never had to deal with the devastation that even a medium-strength tornado can cause. Nevertheless, I learned while very young how to prepare for, and react during, a tornado.
Of course, our foundation for preparing for tornadoes is the same basic preparedness for most catastrophes (e.g., we have an emergency kit, a family communications plan, etc.). Other things we do specifically for tornadoes include:
Have a Weather Radio
In addition to the local community and television alerts, we also keep a NOAA Weather Radio on and monitoring for the severest weather. The Midland weather radio that we have allows us to select which kind of alerts we want to hear. For instance, we want to hear about tornado watches and warnings, but we suppress the alerts about thunderstorm watches and warnings. We do that so that we only get woken up at night by life-threatening events, not every time there's an update about a rainstorm. Since tornadoes most generally travel from the southwest toward the northeast, we program our radio to monitor the counties to the south and east of us.
Of course, I've made sure the entire family understands the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning:
Knowing the Warning Signs of a Tornado
As mentioned above, we do watch the skies for the following danger signs, which either precede or are associated with tornadoes:
If we see any of the danger signs, we take shelter immediately, whether or not we've heard an announced warning. (But, honestly, we usually find out about tornadoes from the NOAA weather service before these signs are evident.)
Being Prepared when Away from Home
Of course, we're not always home when a tornado watch or warning occurs. Here are some ways we deal with tornado situations when we're not at home, adapted from guidance from FEMA, the Red Cross, and similar resources:
Are You at Risk for Tornadoes?
So that's our approach to tornado preparedness, which is critical for us, since we live in an area of fairly frequent tornadoes. Take a look at the graphic below to see if tornadoes are a common threat in your area (click the image to enlarge it).
Image courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety's site, www.disastersafety.org
Other Tornado Preparedness Resources
If you do need to prepare against a tornado, here are a number of good resources to use in preparing your own tornado preparedness plan:
Should you be interested in actually building a safe room in your current or future home or business, FEMA offers some additional information about them:
Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home o...: (PDF download) FEMA Manual L-320. Though it has the same name, this is a manual of detailed information about how to build a wind-safe room (including construction plans and price estimates) to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, and other high winds.
Believing that preparedness and self-reliance are key to individual freedom, Atticus Freeman is the founder of the Self-Reliant Info blog, in addition to authoring The Practical Prepper weekly blog here on Farm Dreams. Thanks for reading!
Make a comment!