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Six tips to avoid getting scooped by a tornado

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Written by Erin Krochmalny, Gif courtesy of Giphy

Tornado season is here, and too frequently a tornado warning is issued, but nothing happens. The most recent occurrence was two Saturdays ago. After these false warnings, tornadoes may not seem like something to be worried about. But they aren’t pleasant and you should be prepared. Here are six ways to keep yourself safe if a tornado comes around.

1. What to look for

Tornados are best identified by their funnel-shaped clouds. It may look beautiful and cool but things can get dicey quickly. The average wind-speed can get up to 100 miles per hour, which is strong enough to knock down trees and even pick up cars. Also, the tornado won’t be hard to hear and sounds like a mixture between a roaring tiger and a whining wolf.

2. If you are outside when the warning goes out

Get off the streets and make your way inside immediately. Staying outside to take a selfie with a tornado could be fatal since tornadoes tend to be in bad moods. Treat them like you would finals, with fear and stress. If you can’t make it inside, find a ditch, hunker down and shield your head with your arms and anything else around you.

3. Watch out for flying debris

Because of the high winds, many objects, small and large, will be hurtling through the sky and into buildings, cars and people. Don’t take shelter in your car or trailer because flying debris can do some serious damage, so make your way to a sturdy building. Bridges won’t act as protection either since the winds can still reach underneathe them. It may seem tempting to try to outrun the tornado in your car, but that’s also a bad idea.

4. Foxy Loxy may sound tempting

It’s not the best idea to be out and about when the sirens ring out. Even if everything looks alright from the window, it can be deceptive. It may be at the beginning stages of forming. It’s better to stay at home and save that coffee or tea run for another day.

5. Speaking of windows

Stay away from the windows. Windows are the most dangerous area of a room if a tornado is coming by. Get to an area of the building where there are no windows to wait out the tornado. In all SCAD dorms, except for O-House, that would likely be in the center the bottom floor. For those that live in O-House, stay in your rooms and hang out in the bathroom for a few hours until the warning ends. 

6. Staying calm will be your friend

Tornado warnings can get the heart beating faster than dancing all night long. To relieve some stress, try activities such as deep breathing or shoulder rolls to help with the tension. Try envisioning that special coffee or tea you wanted to help you, and remember, you can get through it.

For more tips and information, visit the Chatham Emergency Management website.

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