Fire Fighters' Tips for Surviving a Tornado

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In the interest of the safety of the citizens of Garland, this information was provided by the Garland Fire Fighters Association.

Garland, Texas
– The safest place to be in the event of a tornado is an underground shelter – such as a basement – advises Garland 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,” says David Riggs, a fire fighter with IAFF Local 1293. “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: http://www.wunderground.com/tornado/

Garland Fire Fighters Association Local 1293 also stresses the importance of taking the necessary precautions before tornado season begins and developing a plan of action following a tornado.

Before the Tornado:

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.

For more resources on what to do in the event of a tornado, visit the IAFF web site at www.iaff.org/disaster.

If you are in immediate danger and need emergency help, call 9-1-1.

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