Second Story Storm Safety

Second Story Storm Safety

WICHITA FALLS, TX - Sunday marks the 37th anniversary of "Terrible Tuesday."
In 1979, a deadly tornado ripped through Wichita Falls.
With tornado season here, people that have a basement or live on a ground floor structure have shelter.
But what about higher up?
Linda Stevenson, the Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, says you should try to get to a lower floor.
    "If you are on the second floor, I would suggest going to the lower floor and, if possible, getting into a building or the interior of a building that has no windows," Stevenson said.
However, Stevenson admits officials do not have all the answers, and the Red Cross may need to further address the issue. 
    "That one's a hard one," said Stevenson. "And that's something that I may bring up to my people, and tell them that we need to come up with some ideas for people that live on the 2nd or 3rd floor of an apartment."
Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Al Gonzales lives in a second floor apartment and says he has a plan in place well in advance and watches the weather forecasts. 
    "I will decide to go visit one of my family members because that's a plan," says Gonzales. "They have a safer place to stay than in my apartment."    
If the storm arrives fast, Gonzales says to stay in your apartment, find the best shelter you can and try to protect yourself.
    "Research has shown from the Weather Service that debris is what gets you," Gonzales said. "Not only the winds, but the debris hitting you. The blunt force trauma is what can get you."
Gonzales and Stevenson both suggest that you have a kit with water, snacks, money, medications and other miscellaneous items you may need.
Stevenson also says that people in apartment complexes should get to know their neighbors so you can take shelter on the first floor.

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