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Safe Shelter Provides Best Protection Against Tornadoes

April 4, 2011 by  

Safe shelter provides best protection against tornadoesA suspected tornado has injured seven people and temporarily trapped a handful of residents in Florida.

Gusts reached up to 90 miles per hour on April 1 in Tampa, according to ABC News. Although no major injuries were reported, the incident served as a reminder that tornado season is in full swing. Around this time each year, many Americans take precautions to ensure self-survival in the event of a twister.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that tornadoes can strike quickly and with little warning. Although they can form at any time, they are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

During a tornado, FEMA advises that people should ideally have a pre-designated shelter area, such as a basement or storm cellar. However, if homeowners do not have access to these locations, the agency said that the center of an interior room, such as a closet, on the lowest building level is the safest place to be.

If an individual is in a vehicle, trailer or mobile home, he or she should get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter, FEMA suggests. Cars and mobile homes can be displaced and severely damaged by tornadoes.

If a person is outside when a tornado hits and has no access to safe shelter, FEMA says that lying flat in nearby ditch or depression is the best bet to avoid being struck by debris. However, one should be aware of the potential for flooding. 

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