Spring is here, and with it comes the severe weather of the Midwest. Many of us know the drill: go to your basement, keep your radio on, and wait until the storm passes. This is easier for those of us who live in houses, but if you live in an apartment you may be wondering where the safest place to go is.
The number one rule is to always head down. Go to the lowest level of your building, such as the first floor. If you live in a complex with an underground parking garage, take shelter there. If you find yourself caught up in a tornado on a higher floor, the best place to be is in a room with no windows. Examples of this would be a closet or bathroom. If you take shelter in your bathroom, be sure to get in the bathtub or shower and cover yourself with blankets, pillows, or (if possible) a mattress. This will protect you from falling debris.
Make sure you pay attention to the weather. Knowing the signs can be crucial to protecting yourself and preparing for severe storms. Some signs of a potential tornado include:
- Cloud base rotation
- Blue or green color to the sky
- Rain/hail, followed by intense shifts in wind
- Roaring or rumbling- but don’t mistake it for thunder. Thunder fades in and out, while tornado rumbling will stay persistent.
If you do live in an apartment, it is especially important for you and your family to have a plan in case of a tornado. Find the fastest route to safety and practice getting to it. It is also a good idea to have an emergency bag to bring with you. You may want to include a First Aid kit, a battery operated radio, non-perishable food, water, blankets and extra clothes.
Although we may not want to think about severe weather, it is important to prepare for it. It is vital for those who live in apartments, since it may take extra time to get to the safest place. We cannot predict exactly when and where a tornado will strike, but having a plan in place can help make you and your family that much safer.