Tornado Safety: It’s Not Optional
Many people have their ideas as to why we’ve seeing so many deadly tornadoes in the past few years, but it’s indisputable that people need to become more aware of what they can do to stay safe. Property can be replaced, but lives cannot, and manufactured community managers should make sure that all residents are aware of the steps they must take once a funnel cloud has been spotted.
- Evacuate immediately. Make sure that residents know where the closest safe spot is, whether it’s the basement of a nearby community facility or specially designed storm shelter. If a tornado is spotted, the National Weather Service usually provides an 18-minute warning. There should be plenty of time to get to safety once the siren sounds.
- Discourage car travel. If for some reason a resident cannot make it to a proper shelter, he or she should find low ground, lie down flat, and protect the back of his or her head with clasped hands.
- Build storm shelters. Explore the possibility of installing underground shelters in each home, especially in remote areas where a public building might not be close enough. If that isn’t possible, it is strongly advisable to build a community shelter in the development.
- Secure property in advance. Once a tornado has actually been spotted, it’s too late. The time for residents to tie down their swings and yard items is when the National Weather Service issues an advisory that weather conditions favor tornadic development.
- Tornado drills. The more the better: once residents are comfortable with tornado protocol, it will become instinctive should evacuation ever become necessary.