Any storm that produces rotation has the potential to cause tornadoes, and this time of year we can see a lot of that happening. When severe weather is predicted it’s important to pay close attention to alerts so that you can be prepared to do what’s necessary to keep yourself and your animals safe. Most people have heard about weather “watches” and weather “warnings,” but it’s very easy to get confused over which means what. If you hear that there is a tornado watch it means that there’s storms coming through the area that have the potential to – but haven’t yet – cause a tornado. But if you hear that there is a tornado warning it means you need to take immediate action because a tornado has been visually reported or seen on radar.
If there is a tornado warning you should immediately seek shelter in the strongest part of whatever structure you are in. If it’s an office or municipal building often that would be a staircase or inner room. These are sometimes marked as “areas of refuge” on doors or maps. If you are at home when this happens seeking shelter in a basement is best, but if you aren’t able to do that that the center or strongest point of your house is best even taking shelter under a heavy table or desk. Always stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
Keeping animals safe during a tornado is no easy task either, especially if your animals get nervous during regular storms. If you have warning of severe weather, putting your pets in carriers or crates and covering them is a good idea. In the event that there is debris or objects that may be in the air or falling around them, carriers and crates will provide protection. After the danger of a storm has passed remember that the outside is going to look and smell vastly different to your pets. Never simply let them out of the house without going with them, and always have them leashed when walking after a storm. Keep them away from downed trees and power lines, and try to avoid walking in areas with lots of debris to avoid pet injuries and entanglement.