As you listen to the wind howling outside and the news reports about tornado warnings, you might ask yourself where in the world you moved to in the country. Unfortunately, there are some states that are prone to seeing tornadoes more than other states. This area of the country is called tornado alley. It’s almost right in the middle of the country and is where many of the warm and cold fronts come together, causing the severe weather that is seen. Luckily, there are a few tips to keep in mind when you live in this area so that you can keep your family safe.

Safe Place

When you move into your home, you need to design a safe place for the family to go in the event of severe weather. An underground shelter, like the ones that can be installed in your backyard, with a door that is easy to open from the inside would be the best option. Stock the shelter with gallons of water, batteries, flashlights, nonperishable foods and items to keep you busy if you’re in the shelter for a day or two.

Higher Stability

One of the areas of the home that you want to reinforce is the roof. The last thing that you want is to have a roof with flimsy shingles that will easily blow away during a tornado. However, if it’s a strong storm, then there isn’t much that can be done to prevent some type of damage from occurring. A roofing company, such as Stevens Roofing Corporation, can come to the home to install reinforcements in the way of stronger beams and even metal instead of shingles.

Weather Aware

Make a list of the terms that you’re likely to hear as they relate to severe weather. Post the list on a wall or in an area of the home where everyone will be able to see the information. Watch the news if you sense anything that is abnormal with the weather. It’s also a good idea to watch the weather to get a forecast so that you can plan ahead for events that might be outside and to keep the home safe. A couple of such phrases that you should know are “tornado watch” and “tornado warning”. A “watch” is issued by the Storm Prediction Center whenever it is estimated that the conditions are ripe for a tornado. In such situations, you should seek out a shelter or safe place. A “warning”, however, means that a severe thunderstorm has developed and that a tornado may have been produced or will most likely come about as a result of the storm.

Keep the Bags Ready

Sometimes, you might have to evacuate your home if there is a severe tornado threat with high winds and the potential for life-threatening injuries. Shelters will likely be set up at schools and community centers. It’s best to go to these shelters as they often offer a safe environment, especially if you live in a trailer or a home that isn’t secure. Pack a bag with the items that the family will need for a few days. This bag should include clothing, toiletries and underwear along with a little cash in case you aren’t able to use an ATM to get money.

A tornado is a severe storm whether it’s an F1 or an F5. You want to secure the windows, roof and doors ahead of time to prevent as much damage as possible. Locate or build a safe place for the family to go in the storm, keeping your phones charged to listen to weather reports and emergency broadcasts.