What does it mean to get ready for a tornado?
Tornado Alley, Dixie Alley, Hoosier Alley, Caroline Alley: there is really no clear definition of tornado alley, but you can use the harbor app to know if you are at particular risk by entering your zip code. A tornado is a beautiful, powerful, and dangerous natural phenomenon. The top ways to prepare include having an accessible storm shelter, having tornado tracking and notifications setup, and having personal protection equipment. If you are on the road and you see a tornado, do not park under an overpass. Additionally, if you live in a mobile home you are at very high risk. By making plans for safe locations ahead of time, and purchasing some key items, you will be in a much better place if you do encounter a tornado. You might even become a heroic first responder!
The most safe place to be during a tornado is in a tornado shelter. You can build one or find one. Check out the map below for examples, and if you can't find one near you try contacting your local Emergency Management Office for a list.
Personal protective equipment.
One of the main causes of deaths during a tornado is laceration to the head or body. A motorcycle helmet is one of the top protective items you can use. Another item we recommend is a heavy duty moving blanket. This is especially smart to keep in your car, or even at home. If a tornado is nearby, get to the safest place you can, wrap the blanket around you and put on a helmet. You can even use a football helmet or a hard hat - just know that the more protective covering, the better.
NOAA alerts are the top resource for tornado-related notifications. You can download their app, and we recommend having a battery or solar operated NOAA radio at home too. Check out the harbor app for more recommendations on tornado tracking and preparation.
Ready to go bags.
Be sure to have a go bag. A go bag is typically to prepare you for evacuation over a 72 hour period. With a tornado, it could be longer. Be sure to add personal items like a change of clothes, medications, a local map, and important documents.
Shelter at home.
Experts recommend being ready to shelter at home for up to two weeks. That means having enough water, food, and other basics in case supply chain lines remain disrupted. Enjoy peace of mind by being prepared.