Weather72Disasters of various degrees can strike quickly and without warning. Would you know what to do if basic services like water, gas, electricity or telephones were cut off???

  • Create a disaster plan.  Discuss with your family the types of disasters that are most likely to happen and explain what to do in each case. Have a primary and secondary place to meet.
  • Create a disaster checklist. A simple checklist including posting of emergency phone numbers, show family members how to shut off electricity, gas and water lines, and know which family member is responsible for each task.
  • Practice and maintain your plan.  Quiz your kids every six months or so to make sure they remember what to do. Change batteries in smoke detectors, flashlights, and radios each year to make sure they will function properly.


When a tornado is coming, you have only a short amount of time to make life-or-death decisions. Advance planning and quick responses are the key to surviving. Before a tornado hits, designate an area in the home as a shelter and practice having everyone in the family go there in response to a tornado threat.

  • In a house with a basement:Avoid windows. Get in the basement and under some kind of sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag.
  • In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment:Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection.
  • In a mobile home: Get out! Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as an underground shelter or permanent, sturdy building. Go to one of those shelters, or to a nearby permanent structure, using your tornado evacuation plan.
  • In the open outdoors:If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can.