Everyone in Collin County knows what a tornado is. However, are you really prepared?

Spring can be a very pleasant time of year in Collin County. But along with spring, thunderstorms visit us frequently. This is our "tornado season".

What To Do

  • Make sure you have a portable radio with working batteries.
  • Go to the lowest level of your home, inner hallway, a small inner room or a closet.
  • Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket. You can use a mattress, but don't waste too much time getting it.
  • Remember that several tornadoes can come from the same storm.
  • If you are in a mobile home, leave it immediately and seek shelter elsewhere.
  • If you are outside, go inside immediately.
  • If you cannot get inside a building, get down low next to a sturdy structure or lie flat in a ditch or low area and cover yourself with a jacket or clothing.
  • If you are in a car the best thing to do is get out. If you can find a ditch or low lying area.

The Aftermath

  • Make sure the storm has cleared.
  • Stay clear of downed power lines and if possible report them to the power company.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings until they have been inspected by local officials.
  • If flooding has resulted, watch for snakes and other critters.
  • Leave immediately if you smell gas fumes.
  • When cleaning up, wear sturdy shoes, gloves and appropriate clothing.
  • Clean up dangerous spills immediately.
  • Never drive on roads that have water running across them.

Interesting Myths

  • Tornadoes are not always visible from far away. They can be hidden by rain.
  • Houses do not explode due to pressure from tornadoes. Houses are damaged by high winds of the tornado.
  • Opening windows in your home does not help prevent damage. If the tornado is large enough, it's going to take out the glass. However, by opening the windows you can do more harm due to water and wind coming into your home. You never know what the tornado is going to damage.
  • The old rule was to seek shelter in the southwest part of a structure. This no longer is true. Seeking shelter in a small room or hall with no windows when there is no storm shelter or basement available is the best place to be.
  • Not only can tornadoes cross water, they can form on top of them. This is called a water spout and can be just as damaging and dangerous.