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Here are seven tornado safety rules for starters to prepare for the spring season

Here are seven tornado safety rules for starters to prepare for the spring season
Once you’ve seen or been in a tornado, it’s something you never forget!

March is the time when state tornado alarm systems are tested all over the state. Schools all over Indiana also practice tornado drills. There is good reason. While tornados can happen any month of the year and have happened in every month of the year in Indiana, spring is prime time for conditions to set up for tornadoes.

I’ve seen plenty from a distance, sometimes several miles away. I stood outside of my apartment while at Purdue in 1974 and watched the tornado head toward Monticello, leaving scars there that are remembered to this day. I visited a farm family who lost loved ones in the Henryville tornado in 2012.

SEEK SHELTER: If a severe weather system that could spawn a tornado is approaching, seek shelter. Follow the safety rules listed here if you are home.

But the one I remember most vividly is the one I actually was closest to. It went about a mile north of the farm where I was working. However, the farmer I was working for was about a quarter mile north of where it went, planting corn. He watched his pole shed as it was picked up in the air like the house in the Wizard of Oz, then watched it blow apart in all directions. When he returned to the former barn site, not a corn cob off the pile in the barn stored for bedding appeared to be touched!

Here are six safety tips if you are at home and a tornado is approaching. These safety tips are from this Website eo.ucar.edu/kids/dangerwx/torando5.htm. The information is adapted from safety tips supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

1. Here is where you should go in the house.

Pick a windowless interior room on the lowest level of the house. If there is a storm cellar or basement, go to it. If not, go to an inner hallway or smaller inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.

2. Tornadoes and windows don’t mix.

Get away from windows anywhere in the house.

3. Corners are not your friend!

Here’s a tip you may not have heard before. You are better off in the center of the room. Corners of rooms tend to attract debris.

4. Find a sturdy object and get under it.

If there is a workbench or heavy table in the room, get under it if possible. Hold onto it at the same time.

5. Think about how to protect yourself

Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

6. Don’t be in a mobile home!

Leave it and find shelter elsewhere!

Let’s all remember the basic rules and be prepared should a dangerous weather situation develop this spring!

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