Archived Story

Editorial: Safety first during tornado season

Published 10:07am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tornado season is here. You’ve seen the images of devastation in Joplin, Mo. You’ve seen the swaths of destruction across Southern states. It’s been a horrible spring, the worst year for tornado fatalities since 1950.

As the humidity in the Upper Midwest spikes, expect tornadoes here, too. It’s just around the corner, and we ought to take these weather monsters seriously. Today, is June 1, and the big 2010 tornado outbreak in the Albert Lea area happened on June 17.

We here at the Albert Lea Tribune lost one of our own last year. We don’t want this to happen to anyone this year or in coming years.

We urge all readers of the Albert Lea Tribune to speak with their families regarding tornado safety. Have a plan of action. Know where to go when a tornado warning is issued.

Here are tips from the National Weather Service:

• The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.

• If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.

• Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes. Abandon mobile homes and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately.

• If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter.

• Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

• If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort.

• Stay in your vehicle with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.

• If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.