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The members of Denton Firefighters Association Local 1291 offer the following tips to shelter during a tornado or violent storm.
If you don't have a basement or storm shelter, pick a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of your home or office.
Remember to DUCK when the storm or tornado warning is issued:
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,” said Craig Bentley, a firefighter with IAFF Local #1291. “This is critical since tornadoes often occur suddenly with little or no warning.”
Watch the skies for the following:
- A dark or green-colored sky.
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud.
- Large hail.
- A loud roar that sounds like a freight train.
Here are some more before-and-after tips:
- Develop and practice a tornado drill.
- Listen to the NOAA Weather Radio.
- Follow the tornado safety checklist recommended by the American Red Cross.
- Prepare a natural disaster emergency kit, including batteries, flashlights, food, water, copies of personal documents and a first-aid kit.
- Consider purchasing a generator in case of a power outage.
In addition, know where the storm is before you commute. Never stop under bridges and overpasses during a storm. Meteorologists say they offer no protection from wind-driven hail and other debris. In addition, you become a road hazard and risk causing a wreck or creating problems for others. Seek shelter in a strong, sturdy building instead.
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.
If you are in immediate danger and need emergency help, call 9-1-1.