A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms which can produce tornadoes in and close to the watch area. If you are in the watch area-keep informed of the latest weather information. These storms can develop rapidly so there may be occasions when an advance warning is not possible.
A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar. If you are in the path or near the tornado-take immediate actions to protect life and property. Follow these safety rules:
1) In open country - find a ditch - culvert or other low area and lay down flat. Cover your head with your hands for protection.
2) In homes or small buildings - go to the basement or to a small all- interior room on the lowest floor like a hall or bathroom closet. Use heavy furniture for shelter or cover yourself with a mattress or blanket. Even in the basement, get under the stairway, heavy workbench or up against an interior wall, stay away from basement windows. Wear a helmet (bicycle, motorcycle etc.)
3) In mobile homes or vehicles - abandon it and go to a substantial structure or place of safety. Never try and outrun a tornado by automobile. This includes finding a ditch, culvert or other low area and lay down flat. Mobile homes and vehicles are not safe. Wear a helmet (bicycle, motorcycle etc.)
4) In schools...Hospitals...Factories or shopping centers - go to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior halls on the lowest levels are usually the best. Stay away from gymnasiums or auditoriums. Avoid all outside walls and windows.
The key to tornado survival is to be prepared and take immediate action when a warning is issued or when you feel threatened. Remember - the actions you take during a tornado event may save your life and the lives of those you are responsible for.
It is critical that someone at home, work, or wherever people gather, monitor weather conditions, regardless of the time of day! Many tornadoes occur at night. Use the city of Salem department of emergency management nixle community alerts, weather alert radio, local tv, and radio, or the internet to monitor watches and warnings for your area ( www.Salemdoem.Us ) don't rely completely on outdoor sirens - especially if you're asleep!
We strongly urge you to sign up for Salem nixle community alerts operated by the city of Salem department of emergency management and purchase a noaa weather radio. The transmitter that activates the warning radio is located south of Salem, we have a strong signal on all weather radios in this area. Please do not depend on outdoor sirens for tornado warnings if you are indoors! Outdoor warning sirens are for outdoor warning only!
Noaa weather radios are available at your local radio shack, wal-mart, and other department stores.