First, it’s important to note the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A warning means that there has been a funnel cloud spotted and you need to go inside to a storm shelter or the nearest safe place in your building. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds.
A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others.
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.
A tornado watch indicates that the weather conditions make it possible for a tornado to form. By staying underground, you are less likely to get hit with debris, you are also out of the way of the tornadoes path above.
Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level.
Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. You may have heard that a bathroom is the safest place in the home, however, it is actually the basement.
Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings.

Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home.
Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.

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