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Tornado Preparations

Tornadoes can cause flash flooding in low-lying areas. Here are some tips from local and state officials to help you and your loved ones stay safe.

Posted: Oct 27, 2021 3:47 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2021 3:58 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. - This week Acadiana was placed under a level two severe weather threat and today a tornado watch was issued.

So far Acadiana has remained unharmed but we here at News 15 want to make sure you are always prepared.

If there's anything someone can learn from living in Louisiana it's that you can never be too prepared for a natural disaster. I spoke with a few officials to make sure you are always prepared.

A tornado can produce damaging hail and winds, frequent lightning and most familiar to Louisiana, flash flooding.

"One of our main concerns is the waters can get pretty high," said Trahan.

Lafayette Fire Departments Public Information Officer Alton Trahan says flood waters will begin knocking at your front door.

"There's nothing you can do from an interior stand point from stopping the water from coming in. If you see your home is flooding and it's getting too quick you need to get out," said Trahan.

For this reason it's recommended that residents stock up on sand bags. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an emergency kit with water, non-perishable food, and medication is a necessity, along side this list of items.

-Fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device to listen to the latest emergency weather information
-A tornado emergency plan including access to a safe shelter for yourself, your family, people with special needs, and your pets
-A list of important information, including telephone numbers

Residents should also be careful of the "mirror effect," it's where you can't really tell what the depth of the water is.

American Red Cross of Louisiana Regional Director of Communications and Marketing Stephanie Wagner explains.

"You could come across some natural wildlife. We have a lot of snakes here in Louisiana, we've got different types of spiders and bugs," said Wagner.

Also keep and eye open for dark or green-colored skies, large gray or black low-lying clouds, large hail or a loud roar that sounds like a freight train. These are all signs that a tornado is coming.

Finally residents should know where to shelter because falling and flying debris causes the most deaths and injuries during a tornado.

Speaking of shelter, if your home is the only safe place you can ride out a tornado make sure to reduce as many households hazards as you can. You can do simple things like making sure that any chairs, beds, mirrors or large pictures aren't near any windows.

Here is a list of questions you can address as you inspect your home to make sure you don't have any household hazards.

-Are walls securely bolted to the foundation?
-Are wall studs attached to the roof rafters with metal hurricane clips, not nails?
-Are heavy items stored on shelves more than 30 inches high?
-Are there large, unsecured items that might topple over or fall?
-Are poisons, solvents, or toxic materials stored safely?

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