When people think of tornadoes, they usually picture a dark mass of clouds during the day. However, tornadoes can strike at any time, including at night when it is nearly impossible to see them coming. This raises a crucial question: is your family prepared for nighttime tornadoes?
Preparing for nighttime tornadoes is essential since they are as unpredictable as daytime tornadoes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), nighttime tornadoes are more deadly than daytime tornadoes because they catch people unaware.
Here are some tips for your family can prepare for nighttime tornadoes.
1. Have a Tornado Plan in Place
The first step in preparing for nighttime tornadoes is to have a plan in place. Your plan should include a designated safe room or shelter. In case you don’t have a designated safe room, identify the lowest level of your home, an interior room, or a closet without windows. Practice a tornado drill with your family and make sure everyone knows how to take shelter quickly.
2. Have a Tornado Kit Ready
In case of a tornado, your family may need to stay in the shelter for an extended period. Therefore, it is essential to have a tornado kit ready. Your kit should include essentials such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, cash, a radio, and important documents. Place the kit in a location where it is easily accessible.
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology has made it easier for people to keep tabs on weather updates, especially when they can’t rely on visual cues due to darkness. Install weather apps and subscribe to mobile alerts to receive weather updates during the night. Keep a portable weather radio or a battery-powered radio nearby in case of power outages. This will enable you to monitor the storm’s path and take shelter when necessary.
4. Light Up Your Safe Room or Shelter
Since nighttime tornadoes take away the ability to visually track a storm, it is essential to make sure your safe room or shelter is well-lit. The light sources should be battery-powered since the storm may result in an electrical blackout. You can also consider using glow sticks to add light in the shelter.
5. Ensure Safety of Your Pets
Do not forget about your pets when preparing for nighttime tornadoes. Identify a safe place for them to shelter, and have an emergency kit for them. Keep in mind that some shelters do not accept pets, so make arrangements beforehand.
In conclusion, preparing for nighttime tornadoes is as crucial as preparing for daytime tornadoes. Have a plan in place, a tornado kit ready, intuitive technology, a well-lit environment in your shelter, and don’t forget about your pets. A combination of these measures will help ensure your family’s safety during unexpected nighttime tornadoes.