Fire Fighters’ Tips for Surviving a Tornado
The safest place to be in the event of a tornado is an underground shelter – such as a basement – advises Skokie Local 3033 fire fighters. If you don’t have a basement, pick a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level.
With the approach of tornado season, fire fighters want to remind you to DUCK when a tornado warning is issued or if threatening weather is forecast.
DUCK stands for:
D – Down to the lowest level
U – Under something sturdy
C – Cover your head
K – Keep in shelter until the storm has passed
“It’s also important to know your community’s tornado alert system. This is critical since tornados often occur suddenly with little or no warning.”
Fire fighters recommend subscribing to alert services that will send text messages or emails alerting you to local emergencies or bad weather.
In addition, know how to recognize an approaching tornado by watching for these signs:
• A dark or green-colored sky
• A large, dark, low-lying cloud
• Large hail
• A loud roar that sounds like a freight train
You can also go to the Weather Underground interactive tornado map.
Local 3033 stress’ the importance of taking the necessary precautions before tornado season begins and developing a plan of action following a tornado.
Before the Tornado:
• Develop and practice a tornado drill
• Listen to the NOAA Weather Radio
• Follow the tornado safety checklist recommended by American Red Cross
• Prepare a natural disaster emergency kit, including batteries, flashlights, food, water, copies of personal documents and a first aid kit.
• Consider purchasing a generator in case of a power outage.
After the tornado, if you have been evacuated from your home, return only when officials say it is safe to do so.
Following any significant natural disaster, it’s also important to have a licensed professional check the gas system and electrical wiring of your home for damage.
If you are in immediate danger and need emergency help, call 9-1-1