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Keeping Safe in the Storm: Some Tips for Tornado Survival

April 5, 2013

By John Walker, The Duncan (Okla.) Banner

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Tornados are one of nature`s more deadly forces, but chances of injuries can be limited should certain precautions be taken.

In a home without a cellar, shutting all the windows and hiding under a mattress in the center of a home, is one of the best things to do, Duncan Fire Chief Larry Sullins said.

"This protects people from flying debris," Sullins said. "Obviously, if you have a cellar, you should go there."

But if caught outdoors with nowhere to seek shelter, Sullins said that if the tornado is near, leave the vehicle and lie down in a ditch. But if the tornado is far away, it would be recommended to seek safety elsewhere.

Marlow Fire Chief Jerome McCalvin agreed.

"If you are in a mobile home or other vehicle, you need to leave it," McCalvin said. "Many people do not know how quick a vehicle can be lifted off the ground due to the winds."

Once outside, people should lie on the ground as low as possible, he said.

But there are things that can be done beforehand that will mitigate any chances for being caught in the storm.

McCalvin suggested obtaining a weather radio and checking it periodically for status of possible storms to help identify danger areas.

Also knowing where any local storm shelters are may help in case of an emergency, McCalvin said.

If one has a storm shelter or cellar, registering it with the local emergency management director will help much in any search and rescue efforts.

"In the case of a search and rescue effort, the emergency management director will know there might be people hiding there," McCalvin said.

It gives a greater chance of being found after a disaster, he said.

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Copyright (c) 2009, The Duncan Banner, Okla.

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