CEMA gives tips on how to survive a tornado - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CEMA gives tips on how to survive a tornado

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CEMA director Clayton Scott CEMA director Clayton Scott

If a tornado the size of Oklahoma tornado roared  through our area, what would you do?

Chatham Emergency Management Agency director Clayton Scott shared some tips on surviving this type of storm. He had very specific, no non-sense instructions.

If you are not in the lowest possible area of your home, and you don't have a basement or an interior bathroom or closet, take cover and cover your head outside your home in the lowest area you can find, preferably a ditch, Scott said.

If you are outside or in a mall, store or other building, he says leave immediately and get to that lowest possible area. In Chatham County, there are no tornado shelters designated, so it is a fend for yourself and others mentality. If you are in a car, he says get out of your car, get as far away as possible from the vehicle and get to a ditch, lay flat and cover your head.

If you are on the 2nd, 3rd 4th floor or higher of a multi-story building, get to the lowest level possible. While it might sound odd, Scott says what you are wearing may save your life, especially what is on your head.

"If it is a tornado and you are inside you go into an interior room. It's been said you should always put shoes on," Scott said. "It's been said one of the worst injuries are head injuries. If you got a bicycle helmet, put the bicycle helmet on. Ok, you look stupid in your closet for a few hours, but it might save your life."

Same goes for motorcycle helmets or any kind of protective helmet. Not all homes are safe. Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not safe and you must evacuate. Get out of them, evacuate and get to the lowest possible level, Again, Scott suggests a nearby ditch.

Scott told WTOC bridges used to be recommended but long ago were heavily dissuaded as places to seek shelter because during tornadoes, they create a suction effect and you can be sucked from under the bridge.

Scott says, the very first sign of a tornado watch or warning you should immediately turn on your weather radio or WTOC or WTOC Weather App. He says listen to CEMA, The National Weather Service and WTOC for the latest information and instructions. 

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