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Disaster Preparedness: Tornadoes

During thunderstorm season, even innocuous funnel clouds can develop into deadly, vicious tornadoes. Due to low-lying geography and a thunderstorm-heavy climate, the United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country. Reaching speeds of 110 mph to 300 mph, cyclones lead to approximately 60 fatalities each year. By taking the necessary precautions and knowing when to act, you and your loved ones can stay out of a tornado's devastating path.

Take Action Against a Tornado

Get Prepared:

  • Have a family emergency kit on hand that includes food, water, and first aid supplies.
  • Keep helmets in a memorable place to protect against head injuries, a common cause of death during a tornado.
  • Create an emergency plan for your family. Make sure your children know the safest spot to hide in their home, schools, places of worship, and any other frequented location. Have all family members agree upon and memorize a central meeting place, out-of-town contact, and the best local storm shelters.

Suspect a Threat?

  • Listen to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini-stration (NOAA) Weather Radio or any televised news network for the latest updates. If a tornado watch is announced, it is possible that a tornado will form; stay alert to potential tornado warnings, and take immediate action if you notice any of the following warning signs: a dark sky (especially with green tint), large hail, a loud roar similar to that of a train, and large, low-lying, or rotating clouds.
  • Remember that tornadoes are not always clearly visible, and the surrounding winds can have a much wider radius than the width of the twister itself.

Here It Comes!

  • Hurry to a solid shelter. Basements are best, but if one is not available, get to the innermost room on the lowest floor possible. The closer you are to ground level, the safer you are from high-speed winds.
  • Avoid windows and glass-paneled doors; the shattering glass can injure or even kill. While inside, always crouch down to become the smallest target possible, and protect your head with your hands.
  • Always leave mobile homes and trailers, even if they are tied down.  These structures can rarely withstand the strength of a twister.
  • Never attempt to outrun a tornado in your car. If you don't have time to reach a sturdy shelter, exit your vehicle — don't hide under it — and find a low spot on the ground.
  • If you are stuck outside with no shelter available, lie flat in the lowest spot you can find, such as a ditch. Stay away from trees and vehicles.

The Danger Has Passed. Or Has It?

  • Nearly half of tornado-related injuries occur after the winds have dissipated. Never move an injured person unless it is vital to do so. Avoid downed power lines, and wear sturdy shoes to prevent injury from nails and other debris.
  • Cooperate with public safety officials, emergency workers, security officers, and anyone else designated to facilitate community safety and protection.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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