Tornado Season: Be Prepared

Though the Midwest and Southern states have been rocked by 13 deaths and several injuries caused by devastating storms, the weather forecast unmercifully projects further destruction will occur.

Around 5 a.m. in Harrisburg, Illinois, hurricane force winds swept over the town, lifting buildings off their foundations and shredding homes into pieces. Of the 33 tornadoes that reportedly made landfall, the storm responsible for the most extensive damage was believed to hold the second highest ranking in destruction potential (Category EF 4).  Authorities continue to search for victims, but severe weather is getting in the way of search and rescue.

The states affected so far– Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Though the most extreme events have been isolated to pockets of the Midwest, over 300 counts of severe weather have been reported. Weather activity in the last 36 hours include golf ball size hail and damaging thunderstorm winds gusting over 80 mph. In order to remain safe, pay close attention to weather advisory stations and take further precautions to be ready for a major event (see our preparedness tips below).

To help the victims of the most recent storms, please visit the Red Cross disaster relief page.

Also, to see what Red Cross is doing to support the survivors of the tornado visit their media page.

Lets see how we can all become ‘heroes’ for those in need! Contact your local RED CROSS!  **Central SC Chapter, Regional Chapter 2751 Bull Street (P.O. Box 91) Columbia, S.C. 29201 (29202) 803-540-1200**

HOW TO PREPARE

During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek a secure shelter immediately!

If you are in: Then:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Do not open windows.
A vehicle, trailer,  or mobile home Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter
  • Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

We will continue to pray for the victims and survivors of this horrible tragedy.

-Denea Duran

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