Preparing for Tornadoes - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Preparing for Tornadoes

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From Iowa to Arkansas to the open plains of North Dakota, tornadoes are a very real threat during severe weather season, and being prepared could save your life.

“Every tornado warning should be treated as unique. Just because there was a warning before and you didn't have a tornado, doesn't mean the same thing is going to happen again,” said KMOT Meteorologist Amanda Lindquist And during any high risk situation, the number one tip to remember: Stay Calm. “Having seen the damage first hand, and having been through a tornado myself, the number on thing I can tell people is to stay calm. That's the most important tip when severe weather rolls around,” Lindquist added.

“Make sure you know your plan, where the closest shelters are, or if it is taking shelter in your own home, where's the safest location,” stated Amanda Schooling, Director of Ward County Emergency Management. In the Magic City, Edison School, Jim Hill Middle School and the County Court House are the designated community Tornado Shelters. Use these if you're away from your home and hearing a warning, but it's always better to stay put if you're in a sturdy building. But remember, 40 percent of all tornado deaths happen in mobile homes. “We do send out flyers to the mobile home parks, all of them within Ward County, to let them know safety tips, as well as where the location for their tornado shelter will be at,” added Schooling.

And how would you know about severe weather threats? Many communities in Ward County have outdoor Warning systems, but there are other modes of communication. Pay attention to local news broadcasts, NOAA weather radios, and mobile phone apps. “It's extremely important to not rely wholly on outdoor sirens. Outdoor sirens are for just that, they're for when you're outdoors. They're not designed to be heard from inside,” said Lindquist.

When a tornado warning is issued, head to the most interior room of the lowest level in the building. Always remember to bring a pair of shoes to protect your feet from debris, and grab your cell phone to check in with loved ones. A few more safety tips include, keeping a bike helmet close by to protect your head, if you don't have a basement and can't get to a shelter, go into a hallway or a bathtub and cover yourself with a mattress.

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