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Recovering from One Tornado, Preparing for the Next


December 17, 2013 | WMFE--As a Flagler County neighborhood recovers from a tornado, aid workers says it's a good opportunity to prepare for future crises. 90.7's Amy Kiley explains how.

[Stock photo of post-tornado sky courtesy of Alex Grinchenko]

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Aid workers and volunteers are providing shelter and other assistance to residents of Palm Coast, where a tornado damaged or destroyed 171 homes Saturday.

Erin Pagan is communications director for the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region.  She says her group has enough volunteers for this crisis but that it will need new trainees for the next one.  "We all can be first responders," she says.  "We can all take CPR, First Aid and AED Lifesaving training.  We can all make sure we have a disaster preparedness kit in our homes.  We can all be more prepared."

Preparation makes sense in Florida.  A 2011 study from weather.com shows the state’s coastal cities are some of the most tornado-prone in the country, especially during spring and summer.

Emergency officials advise use of weather radios and cell phone alerts to know when dangerous weather is coming.  Dark skies and sounds like a freight train announce a tornado may be in the area.  When a tornado hits, officials say, move to a basement or the center of a building’s first floor – and avoid windows.  If unable to leave a vehicle, remain in the seatbelt and hunch below the windows.

 

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