Is your family prepared for a tornado? 12 things you NEED if a tornado hits

The devastating tornado in Joplin has many wondering about what you can do to protect your family. 

According to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, here are the steps you should take now.

  1. Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school, and when outdoors.
  2.   Have frequent drills.
  3.   Know the county in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
  4.   Have a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.
  5.   Listen to radio and television for information.
  6.   If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecast and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.

If a Tornado Warning is issued or threatening weather approaches:

  1.   In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  2.  If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. 
  3.   Stay away from windows.
  4.   Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.  Get out of the car immediately and seek nearby safe shelter in a sturdy building. 
  5.   Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.
  6.   If in open country and no shelter is available, lie flat and face-down on low ground protecting the back of your head with your arms.  Get as far away as possible from trees and cars as they can be blown onto you.
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