What to do when a tornado strikes

Since we're officially in severe weather season: now is a good time to make sure your family has an emergency plan.

Just this week we saw some pretty amazing video out of Oklahoma after a twister touched down near Duncan. People  in parts of Nebraska, Arkansas and East Texas also reported tornadoes.It serves as a reminder that we need to have a plan in place before the storm hits.

There's a reason may is considered the most active severe weather month.

“Typically we are transitioning in the middle of spring, it's starting to get very warm, southerly winds bring in a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, so typically those two ingredients together are some of the fuel we use for thunderstorms,” Paul Yura, NWS meteorologist said.

Floods and twisters can hit hard, and notoriously the plains of the United Staets like Texas can get it as well. We had our own ef-5 tornado in 1997 in Jarrell. Yura says there are things you can do if a tornado threatens your home.

“Typically go downstairs, get away from windows and be in the most interior part of the house or business,” Yura said.

Most homes in Texas do not have basements, so it's acceptable to go to the bottom floor. But if you can afford it, a storm shelter won't hurt.


A small nuclear fallout shelter can run about $3,500. It goes 7-feet underground.

“For 20 minutes, five people, six people could fit into one of these units until the danger's past, Shane Connor, owner of KI4u, said.

Connor runs his business in Gonzales, Texas. He has one of the small shelters buried underground for his safety too.

“I haven't had to use one but we're glad to have one in the ground here on our location,” he said.

If you can't quite get a shelter, and must stay in your house, make sure when you go to the bottom floor, and remain in the smallest room in the middle of the house. Your life can depend on it.

 

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