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American Red Cross Offers Tornado Safety Tips


WASHINGTON, Tuesday, November 15, 2005 — Recent tornadoes have ripped apart the lives of many, and the American Red Cross urges families and communities to be prepared as the threat of additional tornadoes and destruction looms.

“The peak activity period for tornados is usually March through early July,” said Keith Robertory, Red Cross disaster preparedness expert. “But it is important to remember that tornadoes can occur any time. We have seen that this November. In the last two weeks alone, there have been deadly tornados in both Indiana and Iowa, and people need to be prepared.”

* Creating and Practicing a Family Disaster Plan: When planning for a tornado, pick an interior room with no windows where family members could seek shelter: a basement, a center hallway, bathroom or closet on the lowest floor.

* Assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, canned or non-perishable food and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and other emergency items for the whole family.

* Heeding Storm Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information. A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. When a tornado WARNING is issued, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area. If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.

* Preparing for High Winds: Long before a tornado threatens, make trees more wind-resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically remove branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and un-reinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.

For more information on tornado preparedness, please visit

Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 900 field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1 million volunteers and 36,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 70,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and keeps U.S. military families connected worldwide. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross and Bonnie McElveen-Hunter is Chairman of the American Red Cross.


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