When a tornado comes your way... - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

When a tornado comes your way...


If your area were under a tornado warning, where would you go to take shelter? Too often, people have only seconds to make a life or death decision.

George and Angela Sims saw a killer tornado hit their Americus neighborhood in 2007. Angela watched it out the front door.

 "George grabbed me and he came to the door and he says come back, that's a tornado." Angela Sims said.

 George had been taught from an early age where to go. "Go to the bathroom. Get a mattress. That's what my grandmother taught. So that was our plan and what we did after I got her out of the door. I mean she was shell shocked. Fascinated by how huge it was," George Sims said.

Emergency officials say George was exactly right. "The safest place in your house is an interior room, with no windows. That's probably the best. Underneath a stairwell is good, if you have that. You want to be on the first floor," American Red Cross Flint River Chapter Emergency Services Program Manager Nigel Poole said.

 Have your safe area planned and everyone know it.  "You don't want to think about it when the tornado is coming. You want to know ahead of time where to go," American Red Cross Flint River Chapter Executive Director Lara Gill said.

And having an emergency kit packed and ready can be vital after the storm. Poole said. "Red Cross and GEMA ask that you prepare for three days. So you extrapolate that and have a gallon of water per person per day. You have food rations for people. You have blankets, flashlights, emergency radios."

George and Angela Sims moved into a home that was damaged in 2007, and they rebuilt. But their emergency plan is to go to this bathroom, get in the tub with a mattress over them. They know from experience their plan works.

You should put as many walls between you and the outside walls as possible. An interior hall, a bathroom, a closet without windows. Not many South Georgians have basements, but underground is good if you can. Take shelter in a ditch or a culvert away from trees outside, and try to drive away from the storm If you're in a car.


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