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April 17, 2013

Tornado safety tips from AAA Oklahoma

DUNCAN — With severe weather expected to occur for much of Oklahoma and north Texas as the evening rolls in, AAA Oklahoma offers several tips to help prepare Oklahomans, as the beginning of the tornado season starts.

Storm season is when Mother Nature most often unleashes her fury on the Sooner State.

 Seek Shelter

Do not try to outrun a tornado. Instead, stay calm and seek shelter.

· At home or work, seek shelter in the central part of the building, away from windows. Basements or storm shelters are the best havens. If this is not an option, take cover in the bathroom, closet, interior hallway or under a heavy piece of furniture or mattress.

· If you are in your car, abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in the nearest building. Never try to outrun a tornado. Your vehicle will offer no protection from a twister. Plus, it is impossible to know which direction a tornado may decide to go.

· If you are caught in the open, with no buildings available to you, find a ditch, ravine or low-lying area and lie flat. Stay away from roadway overpasses.

· People living in mobile homes should leave them and seek shelter elsewhere.


Protect your Property

Prepare before the storm strikes.

· If a tornado watch has been issued, move cars inside a garage or carport to avoid damage from hail that often accompanies tornadoes. Keep car keys and house keys with you.

· If time permits, move lawn furniture and yard equipment inside.  They could be damaged or act as dangerous projectiles causing serious injury or damage.

· Shut off the water supply to your washing machine when not in use.

· Make an inventory of possessions and store the list off-premises. If belongings are damaged, this list will help facilitate the claim-filing process.

 While tornadoes are deadly, a severe storm can be just as dangerous due to lightning, heavy rain and the possibility of flooding. Prepare now for all forms of severe weather.

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