I figured this was an important topic to discuss. Primarily because we're still in Austin for the Austin Film Festival and the weather has been less than gracious. By now, I'm sure you've read the diatribe about Formula 1 and the weather debacle from last week. We thought that garbage was over. It wasn't.
After severe flooding in South central Texas this past week, plus a few tornado watches, I realized if something were to happen, did I even know what to do? So, I did a lot of research on how to prepare for a tornado in an RV so that not only could we be prepared, but also so our readers can hold onto this for future use.
If You Are At An RV Park:
When you first arrive, find out if the park has a plan in place, even if you are staying for only a night or two. Tornados are one of the only storm systems that have very little warning. Sometimes as little as 3 minutes notice. So having a plan in place already will save you loads of time and trouble.
Find out if the park has a shelter onsite or where the nearest shelter is. The park may have a basement or underground shelter that are sturdy and safe. Hallways also can be a viable option.
If the park doesn't have a shelter, consider the bathroom or shower stalls. Usually the restrooms are sturdy enough and built out of cement, so they will be a great option to stay safe.
When a tornado watch is given, be ready. When a warning is issued-- it's time to go.
Some quick tips to keep in mind:
If there are no buildings nearby, say you are boondocking and there are no bathrooms or shower houses available to go to, leaving the RV is still the best option.
The general guideline for tornado safety is to get as low to the ground as possible and assume the tornado safety crouch. Wind speeds will be slower close to the ground. This way you won't be hit by a flying object. Also, try to refrain from being near any trees. Lightning and flying debri are more likely to happen there. Look for a cave, ditch, rock, or the like. Any of these will offer more protection.
Having a tornado plan in place is very important. We learned this after a few nights of torrential downpour and extreme lightning. Although staying in your RV might sound like the logical answer, it often isn't. Even if you are a full-time RV traveler.
Hope this helped! Stay safe and we'll see you on the road.
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