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Tornadoes are among the most dangerous natural disasters here in the US. Most last for just minutes, but the damage left behind can endure for years. In this article, you will learn the steps to take if you ever face such a powerful storm.

Before the Tornado

Most tornadoes strike without warning. If you live in a tornado-prone area, pay careful attention to the sky during storm season, and look for these signs:

Heavy precipitation hides many tornadoes, making them invisible until they strike.

Whirling debris or dust at ground level–not all tornadoes exhibit funnel clouds

Persistent, powerful rotation of a cloud base

Continuous, loud rumbling or roaring that does not diminish as thunder does

During the Storm

If you cannot escape the path of a tornado, take the steps below.

Get away from the windows, as flying glass can be a hazard.

Get into the basement (if possible) and take cover under a sturdy item. Remain aware of large objects on other floors, which can fall through and cause crush injuries.

Get into the smallest room possible if your home does not have a basement.

Cover your body with blankets or a mattress to get some protection from airborne debris.

If you are outside away from shelter, lie face down on the ground, covering your head with your arms. Get as far away from vehicles and trees as you possibly can.

After the Tornado

Once the storm has passed, keep your friends and family together until help arrives. Don’t go into a damaged home or other building, as it can collapse without warning. Stay away from cut power lines and hazardous debris like nails and glass.

As with any natural disaster, preparation and vigilance can help you survive. Stay safe by being aware of your circumstances and your surroundings. If your home is damaged in a tornado, your Johnson County, KS Insurance policy may cover some or all of the damage. Every policy is unique, and it’s a good idea to check your coverage before storm season. If you need to file a claim, call your insurance carrier right away.