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Your family’s plan should include where to go in the event of a tornado warning. In addition to your own home, the plan should include all places that you frequent – the ballfield, grocery store, shopping center, movie theater or even your vehicle.
Your plan should include an emergency kit that includes flashlight, medications, battery-operated radio or weather radio and first-aid supplies; include a written list of essential phone numbers and addresses; have an out-of-area contact you can call for help; determine where your family will meet after the event; identify safe locations in your home or other place you frequent. Always have shoes close by and a helmet - bike, football or other - in case you are caught in a tornado. The helmet will help protect your head from flying or falling debris and the tennis shoes will protect your feet from nails and broken glass.
Check out these additional tips from the Storm Prediction Center, including how to stay safe in different locations like homes, office buildings and when outdoors and what to do if a tornado does strike. https://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html
And even if you’ve lived in Kansas all your life, it’s a good idea to review the possible signs of a tornado.
This information from the NOAA/National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, can help you recognize weather that could become a tornado.
1. Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.
2. Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base - tornadoes sometimes have no funnel!
3. Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heave precipitation and can't be seen.
4. Day or night - Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.
5. Night - Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds.) These mean power lines are being snapped by very strong winds, maybe a tornado.
6. Night - Persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning - especially if it is on the ground or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.