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Severe weather can be scary for kids, but tornado warnings should be taken seriously. Keep your family safe by following these tips adapted from the American Red Cross and FEMA.

First, make sure your kids know the difference between a TORNADO WATCH and a TORNADO WARNING.

  • A TORNADO WATCH means tornadoes are possible in your area.
  • A TORNADO WARNING signals that a tornado has been reported in your area and you should seek shelter immediately.

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

  • Sign up for alerts on your mobile devices by downloading weather apps, such as the National Weather Service app, and turning on notifications for severe weather specific to your location.
  • Log on to the “parent portal” on your school district's website and make sure the contact information they have listed for you is accurate. If you can't access the website, call your child's school and confirm it.
  • Download school district apps and follow your child's school and school district on social media. For example, parents of students in Greenville County should sign up to receive alerts via twitter through @gcsalerts. Also make sure notifications are turned on for the Greenville County Schools Facebook page to receive updates to your smart phone as soon as they're posted. If you accidentally don't receive a phone call or other form of message, this is the best way to stay updated.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A TORNADO:

  • Have a plan. Make sure each member of your family knows where to go in case of a tornado threat. Remember to secure your pets, too!
  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your home or car. It should include a first aid kit, bottled water, flashlight, extra clothes, necessary prescriptions, and a list of emergency phone numbers.

WHAT TO DO DURING A TORNADO:

  • Seek shelter immediately. Go to the lowest level of your home or building and shelter inside a basement, inner hallway, or inner room without windows.
  • Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a heavy table or desk, or shelter inside a bathtub and cover yourself with a mattress.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you are in a mobile home or vehicle, get out immediately. Neither can provide adequate protection in a tornado. Seek cover in a shelter, ditch or low-lying area, or crouch next to a strong building.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A TORNADO:

  • Stay indoors if possible
  • Check for injured or trapped people, but don’t put yourself in danger
  • Watch out for fallen power lines

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