Safe Family Report: Tornado Safety

By: Paige Tebow
By: Paige Tebow

We live in tornado ally.

“Texoma is part of tornado alley that starts across southwest Texas and actually reaches in late summer to the Great Lakes," says Tom Miller, KXII meteorologist.

Folks to the north of us have already dealt with their fair share of tornadoes. Last weekend, storms ripped through parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois, leveling everything in their path. Whenever there's a chance of severe weather, you'll hear talk about watches and warnings, but what's the difference?

“A tornado watch is when conditions are favorable some time during the day, possibly heavy to severe thunderstorms can happen, and that's sometime within a 6 hour period,” Miller says. “A warning means that condition, a tornado, a thunderstorm or flood, is right now and you need to take immediate action."

Locate the best place in your home to go if a tornado is coming. If you have a storm shelter or a basement, that's the best choice. If you don't, the key is to put as many walls as possible between you and the tornado.

"If severe weather approaches, get in the interior of your house away from as many windows as possible and in the smallest room on lowest floor of your house or apartment,” he says.

Then, find something that will protect you from flying debris. A mattress or seat cushions or even a trash can over the top part of your body can keep something from hitting you and could mean the difference between life and death. As always, stay weather aware.

“One of the quickest ways and best ways to listen for warnings is through the television,” Miller says. “Of course, here at channel 12, we'll inform you through skywarn or break into programming."

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