Plan for a tornado: tips and myths

Plan for a tornado: tips and myths

(WTOL) - It's been nearly three years since the Toledo-area has seen a tornado. Wednesday's storm is a good reminder of what Mother Nature is capable of in our community.

Don't be caught without a plan! As soon as you hear the warning siren go off, or you hear of a tornado warning, get moving.

"When we have a tornado warning go off, you should be getting to the most - lowest level, most center area of the building that you're in," said Pat Moomey, EMA Director for Lucas County.

Moomey says you're wasting time with tornado myths like opening your windows to minimize damage.

If you don't have a basement, your bathtub could be a safe place to go in your home, but it really depends on where your bathroom is. The National Weather Service says there's nothing magically safe about getting into your bathtub and covering yourself with a mattress, especially if your bathroom is up against an outside wall or has windows.

So if you have a basement, that's your best bet.

If you're outside or in your car, Moomey says you shouldn't try to make it all the way home, seek shelter right away. Even if it seems beautiful out, things could change quickly.

"In Lucas County, the sirens will go off for the entire county, so it could be that, in this case, the southwestern part of the county was where the actual tornado warning was occurring, but it also turned and went a little north very quickly," said Moomey.

Moomey says don't try to outrun a tornado, don't assume you're safe hiding under an overpass, and don't stay in something like a mobile home - go to a more sturdy building like a store. Only as a last resort should you hide in a ditch. Click here for more insight from the National Weather Service.

"Make sure you talk to everyone in your family and have a plan for everyone in your family, including pets, for any kind of disaster that could happen and have a meeting place both in the house and outside of the house," said Moomey.

Moomey says the sirens only go off once to indicate a threat. If you hear a siren a second time, that means the first threat is over and a new one has come into play.

Sign up for Lucas County Alerts here. In the event of a Tornado or emergency warning, an alert will be sent to your phone or email address.

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