Local Red Cross offers tornado safety tips

As tornados ravage the Midwest and warnings of wicked weather reach the Finger Lakes region, it is important that we are prepared to respond in the event of a tornado right in our neighborhood. The Red Cross has developed a series of safety tips to help people prepare. These tips include:* Monitor weather conditions through local news stations or NOAA weather radio.* Pick a safe room in the house to gather in the event of a storm. A safe room can be the basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest level with no windows.* Prepare for high winds by removing diseased or damaged tree limbs, removing or securing lawn furniture, trash cans, or anything that can become a projectile.* Watch for warning signs: dark, greenish clouds; a lowered wall cloud; clouds of debris; large hail; a funnel cloud; roaring noise.* Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado. If you are in a mobile home or outside, drive to the nearest shelter wearing your seatbelt.* Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.* Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.* Stay out of damaged buildings.* Use battery-powered flashlights when examining buildings—do NOT use candles.* If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.* Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.* Check for injuries. If you are trained, provide first aid to persons in need until emergency responders arrive.For a complete tornado safety checklist, visit http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Tornado.pdf. About the American Red CrossThe American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit rochesterredcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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