Tornado Safety emphasized in March

By Russell K. Pitts DLA Installation Management Richmond

PRINT  |  E-MAIL

As spring approaches, so does changes in weather. One weather event you need to make a plan of action for is Tornados!  

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Climate Data Center, the Commonwealth of Virginia has an average of 18-20 tornado events per year. The season usually starts in April and ends in November.  

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service have several resources on their websites to help individuals prepare for weather-related events.

 A tornadic event can threaten your family and destroy your property. It is important to include this destructive weather event into your overall preparedness plans. Your plan should include what you and your family should do when at work, home and school. Like any life changing event, planning and practicing your plan now could determine whether or not you survive a tornadic event.

How Do You Get Started?

-Visit Ready.Gov – this website is loaded with information on planning and how to prepare for different types of events.
-Identify which counties/cities in which you live and work. NOAA weather warnings are issued for counties and cities.
-Make your plan! Make sure you communicate, practice and update your plan annually or if there are life changes.
-Have a survival kit. The kit should last at least 72 hours.

What Should You Do During a Tornadic Event?

-Do not wait until you see the tornado to act!  Listen to local area radio or television stations, NOAA radio, and/or DLA AtHoc  notification system for updates and warnings.
-Move to an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If none are available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
-If outside, move to a shelter or run to low ground away from any vehicles. Lie flat and face down, protecting the back of your head with your arms.
-Find a local emergency shelter and know the best routes to travel there.
-If you are in your vehicle and the tornado is visible but at a distance, you may be able to travel out of its path by moving at a right angle to the tornado.
-If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park. Do not park on a bridge or under an overpass.

What Should I do After a Tornadic Event?

-Let family and friends know you are safe. Social Medial is a good tool.
-If evacuated, return to the impacted area only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
-Continue listening to local news or a NOAA weather radio for updated information and instructions.
-Check for injuries. If you are trained, provide first aid to persons until first responders arrive.
-Do not enter damaged buildings. They could be unstable and cause injuries.

If have any questions or comments about tornado preparation and safety, please feel free to contact DLA Installation Management Richmond at 804-279-4087.