We recently went through a tornado warning near Destin Florida. Our cell phone alerts went off and we scrambled to figure out what to do! Watch the full video here! And stick around till the end to watch us get hit by a powerful dust storm.
We also got advice from Kali from The Freedom Theory about tornado survival in an RV. Kali and Josh and their 2 young children recently lost their Grand Design Momentum RV during an Easter Sunday tornado. Thankfully they all got out of their RV in time and the whole family is safe.
We haven’t figured out the best place to go (in our current area) during a tornado warning. So we better figure it out and we want to help you at the same time! Because tornado season goes right along with the peak RV camping season.
RVs don’t do well in tornados or high winds. It seems like every tornado outbreak covered on the news includes video from an RV park or campground with overturned RVs.
We’ve noticed many RV parks and campgrounds have a designated shelter to go to, but not the one we are in now. That is the first recommendation. So add that to your checklist for checking in to your RV park or campground. Find out where the designated shelter is!
If there is not designated tornado shelter, a concrete restroom building, laundry facility, inside room of a club house, or other sturdy building with few or no windows would be your next best choices. Whatever you do, don’t stay in your RV!
Finding where the nearest emergency shelter is not as easy as a google search! We searched for a while and still can’t find an official shelter in our area. So we are thinking maybe the largest store nearby? We have a CVS pharmacy, a McDonalds, and a bank nearby (maybe inside the vault haha)? What do you guys think? Let us know in the video comments! We are also considering a library or school, but those are farther away.
If a tornado warning is issued, don’t waste time searching for extra unnecessary items. Take only your identification, wallet or purse and drivers license.
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Have an emergency supply kit ready to go that includes:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Portable cell phone charger
Additional items to consider packing in your emergency kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you are in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper
- When diluted nine parts water to one-part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container or a lighter
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
If there is time before the storm hits, consider prepping your RV:
- Bring in your awnings
- Close vents
- Pull your shades down
- Bring in your slides
- Put away extra items outside that could become projectiles
- Disconnect from shore power
- Shut off your propane (Again, only if there is time, DO NOT put yourself at risk for your RV)
If you do get stuck in your RV, pull your shades down and stay as far away from windows as possible. Just like in a regular home, your RVs bathroom may be the safest place to be in your RV. Cover yourself up with blankets, pillows, etc. because flying debris hurts and kills more than any other part of the tornado.
Always keep an eye on the forecast of the area you will be traveling into. If you are on the road:
- Don’t think that you can outrun the storm.
- Don’t shelter under an underpass because it will likely be more windy there!
- Don’t park next to trees but try to find a large wall or sturdy structure or hill that can give your RV some shelter.
- Put your RV jacks down to provide more support and stay connected to your tow vehicle.
- Stay inside your tow vehicle.
More tips for severe weather:
- Let someone know outside of the storm area where you are in case something happens and they need to send the authorities looking for you.
- Turn on your weather alerts on your smart phone and have a weather radio.
If you liked the video, please give it a thumbs up! If you are new to us, thank you for hitting that subscribe button! Are you prepared for when the next storm comes? Let us know in the video comments or if you have other helpful tips, please share them. Thanks for reading and watching friends, stay safe and we will see you in the next video!
Tom & Cheri
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