Eight Tips to Prepare For Tornado Season

By
Real Estate Agent with Front Gate Real Estate Broker 11085
http://activerain.com/droplet/5bNh

Two tornadoes have passed dangerously close to my home over the course of the last two weeks. Each time I found myself hunkered down in the closet.The first tornado went less than a half mile east of my home; todays' early morning storm was a half mile west! My neighbors and I feel like we have a target on our back.

Accuracy Target

Fortunately, there was only minor damage with each tornado. Downed tree limbs, trees toppled, their roots upended. Shingles were ripped from rooftops, but to my knowledge, no injuries or car accidents as a direct result. Nearly 1000 households were without power at 10:00 a.m.

 

**I'm now receiving reports of multiple trees down in nearby neighborhoods, roof damage, fences down, etc.

Tornadoes are most common from March to June, but can occur at any time. It's wise to take precautions, because tornadoes give little warning.

 

Following are a few practical tips to guide you through severe weather:

 

Mississippi Weather Map

  • Listen to the local radio or television weather station
  • Keep your cell phone charged
  • Consider an emergency weather radio for alerts and information
  • Decide which room in your house is the safest BEFORE there is an emergency. Choose an interior room away from windows and potential flying debris
  • Have an emergency kit with medical supplies, a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, granola bars
  • Keep blankets and pillows nearby or in your "safe room"
  • Take shelter and stay alert to weather sirens and possible "freight train" sounds
  • Avoid being in your vehicle if possible during tornado watches. A "watch" means weather conditions are favorable for a tornado. Never leave home during an actual "warning".

 

Despite an old wives' tale, it is unnecessary and to open doors or windows in your home in an attempt to equalize the pressure in your home. Doing so will only allow blowing rain and wind to damage your homes' interior. 

 

Pay attention to local weather reports and heed the warning of the Emergency Alert System. 

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Rainmaker
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Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

I'll pass this info along to my sister in Indiana, Pat. Here in SoCal, we worry more about the ground shifting - and I don't mean from too many martinis!

Apr 14, 2018 04:55 PM #1
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

This is timely and lifesaving information. It seems we all have to put up with something, right. Earthquakes, floording, or tornadoes, or? 

Apr 14, 2018 04:55 PM #2
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Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
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Thanks for sharing info on preparing for tornadoes-glad we don't have them here.

Apr 14, 2018 05:39 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - Or hurricanes! But yes, we all have to deal with the possibility of something in different parts of the country. But we have had our share of tornadoes, and it's still early in the season.

Apr 14, 2018 06:33 PM #4
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

@Pat I am glad that we rarely have tornadoes here in CT.  I would rather deal with  the blizzards than twisting wind at 200 miles an hour.

Apr 14, 2018 07:19 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Gwen Banta and Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 - You two Cali girls have other things to worry about besides tornadoes. It's all in what you get used to. Thank you both for reading my post.

Apr 14, 2018 07:29 PM #6
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

George Souto - I've never been in a blizzard and I don't want to be. We were lucky that these two tornadoes were on the low side of the EF scale. The first was an F-0 and todays' was an F-1.

Apr 14, 2018 07:31 PM #7
Rainmaker
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John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS great tips to prepare for tornado season.

Apr 14, 2018 08:08 PM #8
Rainmaker
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Diana Zaccaro
Veterans Realty of Brevard - NOT just for Veterans! - Cocoa Beach, FL
Your Brevard County, Florida coastal connection!

Pat, That is a good checklist.. I'm glad you are prepared and the tornadoes missed you. I've never been through one and don't want to be but did experience a couple blizzards when we lived up north. We have to deal with occasional hurricanes but at least we get plenty of warning to prepare and evacuate, unlike tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, etc. Stay safe.

 

Apr 14, 2018 08:09 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Pat,
I've never been in a tornado prone area during tornado season so I have never experienced it... and so glad for that. Your checklist is great info for those who are. 

Apr 15, 2018 07:53 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Diana Zaccaro - Tornadoes are different because there are frequent "watches", which is when weather conditions are favorable. You can become accustomed to hearing the sirens. But when a tornado is spotted, it becomes a warning and you'd better find a safe room. When I lived on the coast (Mississippi), there were still tornado warnings, but mostly further inland. I agree with the statement on hurricanes. You have a much better (longer) evacuation period.

Apr 15, 2018 09:21 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Diana Zaccaro
Veterans Realty of Brevard - NOT just for Veterans! - Cocoa Beach, FL
Your Brevard County, Florida coastal connection!

Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS 

I was talking with a neighbor today and mentioned how similar your tornado checklist is to our hurricane prep list. She asked an interesting question...if a tornado heads our way, should she close her storm shutters to prevent breaking glass and flying debris?

I did not know the answer but told her I know who to contact to get an answer.

 

Apr 15, 2018 10:23 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Those are excellent tips for those who are dwelling or find themselves in tornado territory, Pat.

Apr 15, 2018 03:03 PM #13
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I remember my mom wanting to open up windows when there was a tornado watch.  Glad to know that one is not advised.

Apr 15, 2018 03:05 PM #14
Rainmaker
443,769
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Diana Zaccaro - because there is very little time to do much preparedness, your friend should probably seek shelter instead of spending precious time trying to close her shutters, unless they close electronically. I'm not familiar with the different types of shutters available on the market. 

Apr 16, 2018 12:44 PM #15
Rainmaker
443,769
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Chris Ann Cleland - that theory never made sense to me, but I remember my parents talking about it. They thought it would prevent the house from caving in due to the pressure of the tornado.

Apr 16, 2018 12:58 PM #16
Rainmaker
443,769
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Carol Williams - Tornadoes are more of a "Southern thing", much like the blizzards you have tend to happen up north. We have very few snow storms. I'll admit they are scary when they happen but it's a fact of life.

Apr 16, 2018 02:56 PM #17
Rainmaker
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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Luckily this is something we don't have to worry about. Although I do get concerned when I hear my parents in Florida are under a tornado warning. It must be terrifying!

Apr 17, 2018 04:20 PM #18
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

We had one pass a half mile from our house, too. You are right it is very frightening and so glad you weren't hurt.

Apr 17, 2018 07:28 PM #19
Rainmaker
643,234
Diana Zaccaro
Veterans Realty of Brevard - NOT just for Veterans! - Cocoa Beach, FL
Your Brevard County, Florida coastal connection!

Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS Good advice, Pat...I have no idea how much notice you get. Some people have electric shutters but most have manual accordions on the sliders and roll downs on the windows. The accordions can be closed in a minute but the roll downs take a little longer. I will share your response with her. Thanks!

Apr 17, 2018 10:22 PM #20
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