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Safety - Tips                  

District 7

  Federal Emergency Management Agency  


When a tornado is coming. you have very little time to make life‑or‑death decisions. Advance planning and quick response are the keys to surviving a tornado.


  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • Tornadoes are capable of destroying homes and vehicles and can cause fatalities.
  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and. debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel The average tornado moves SW to NE but have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed is 30 mph but may very from stationary to 70 mph and have rotating winds in excess of 250 mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.


  • Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
  • Tornadoes have occurred in every state. but they are most frequent east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • In the southern states. peak tornado occurrence is March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the late spring and early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 pm. but can happen at any time.


  • Develop a plan far you and your family at home, work, school and when outdoors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers planning tips on its Internet site  www.fema.gov.
  • Identify a safe place to take shelter. Information on how to build a "Safe Room” in your home or school is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at  www.fema.gov/mit/saferoom.
  • Conduct frequent tornado drills each tornado season.
  • Keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
  • Have a NOAH Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery backup to receive watches and warnings.
  • NWT watches and warnings are also available on the Internet Go to the NWS Home Page: www.nws.noaa.gov for services or: www.weather.gov  for weather and forecasts.
  • Listen to radio aid television for weather information
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors. Watch for signs of approaching storms.
  • If severe weather threatens. check on people who are elderly. very young, or physically or mentally disabled.
  • Practice having everyone in your family go to your designated safe place in response to a tornado threat.
  • Contact your local emergency management office and NOAA for more information on tornadoes.

Develop a Communications Plan 

  • Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
  • Choose an out‑of:‑stale friend as your "family" check‑in contact" for everyone to call if the family gets separated . Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.

Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit 

  • A 3‑day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • One blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • A first aid kit including prescription medic.
  • Emergency tools, including a battery powered NOAH Weather Radio and portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card or cash.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Copies of ID cards a driver's licenses for all family members.

 Tornado Watches and Warnings

The National Weather Service issues a tornado watch when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. The Is the time to remind family members where the safest places within your home are located and listen to the radio or television to further developments. 

A tornado warning is issued, by NWS, when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. if a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre‑designated place of safety. Turn on a battery‑operated radio and wait for further instructions. 


Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible.

 Look out for: 

·        Dark. often greenish sky 

·        large hail 

·        Wall cloud 

·        Loud roar, similar to a freight train 


  • Some tornadoes are dearly visible, while rain or nearby low‑hanging clouds obscure others 
  • Before a tornado hits. the wind may die down and the air may become very still
  • A cloud of debris cars mark the locations of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.
  • Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.


  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. you are safer in a low, flat location.
  • In a home or building, move to a Predestinated shelter, such as a basement (under a sturdy piece of furniture) or a Safe Room.
  • If an underground shelter Is not available, move to a  small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Stay away from windows. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from the corners because they attract debris.
  • Get out of automobiles immediately and seek shelter in a nearby building. If a building is unavailable or there is no time, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low‑ lying area away from the car. Be aware of potential flooding. In urban or congested areas, never try to outrun a tornado in a ca or truck. Instead, leave it  immediately for sale shelter. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and loss it in the air.
  • If  caught outside, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware d potential for flooding.
  • Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injures.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.
  • Avoid places with wide‑span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias large hallways, or shopping malls.
  • Do not open windows, use time to seek shelter.
  • Use arms to protect head and neck.


  • Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid when appropriate. Don’t try to move the seriously Injured unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. Return home  when authorities say it Is sale.
  • Turn on radio or television to get the latest emergency Information. Use the phone only for emergency calls.
  • Clean up spilled flammable liquids immediately. Leave the building if you smell gas or chemical fumes.
  • Take pictures of the damage ‑ both the house and contents ‑ for insurance purposes.

 Inspect Utilities In a Damaged Home

Check for gas leaks ‑If you smell gas or hear a blowing a hissing noise. open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas, a professional must turn it back on.

Look for electrical damage If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot  insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician for advice.

Check for :sewage and water line damage: If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. Melt ice cubes for safe water. 


Mitigation includes any actives that prevent an emergency. reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventative mitigation steps now, such as building a Sale Room. checking local building Codes and ordinances about wind resident‑designs and strengthening unreinforced masonry, will help reduce the impact of tornadoes in the future.

 You can print or download copies of FEMA publications from  http://www.fema.gov/.  Order printed copies from FEMA's Distribution Center (800‑480-2520). For To request your free copy of "Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House" (FEMA 320), call 1-888-565-3896. The manual is divided into 3 sections: Understanding the Hazards of Wind, Planning Your Shelter, and Building your Shelter.

 Through a Rapist's Eyes How to Avoid Predators:

The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

The second thing men look for is clothing, They will look for women who's clothing Is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities white walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
The time of day men are must likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.
The number one place women are abducted frorn/attacked at is grocery store parking lots.
Number two is office parking lots/garages.
Number three is public restrooms.
The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught
Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3‑5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15‑20 years.
If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time‑consuming.
These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.
Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk, I can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter. Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a lineup, you lose appeal as a target.
If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman atone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yelling "I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY"  and holding it out will be a deterrent.
If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh ‑ HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches‑ Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts.
After the initial hit, always go for the groin. ! know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble.  

For more information concerning health and safety, please our national Safety Website at: http://www.cwa-union.org/issues/entry/c/health-and-safety      



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Last updated: December 15, 2016.   Privacy Policy