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Tornado safety: How to survive when twisters strike

connectVideoDangerous tornadoes rip through the Midwest in the middle of the night

Jefferson City, Missouri, is in disaster mode as people are trapped in their homes, while three people have been killed in Carl Junction.

The “violent storm” that tore through Jefferson City, Missouri, overnight has highlighted the terrifying destructive power of tornadoes.

The damage spread over a 3-km area in Jefferson City, said Police Lt. David Williams. About 20 people were rescued by emergency responders, and even though there were no reports of missing persons, authorities intend to do, door-to-door checks on Thursday, he added.

This week has seen several days of tornadoes and heavy rainfall in parts of the Southern Plains and Midwest.

TORNADO IN JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MAY HAVE CAUSED IRREPARABLE DAMAGE’: REPORTS

The National Weather Service urges people to be prepared ahead of severe storms and tornadoes. “Know your safe location,” it explains on its website. “Be ready to act quickly if a Warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.”

This still image from video provided by Chris Higgins gives a tornado in Carl Junction, Mo., on Wednesday 22 May 2019. The tornado caused damage in the town of about 4 kilometres to the south of the Joplin airport. (Chris Higgins, via AP)

If you are unable to get access to a specially built tornado storm shelter or FEMA safe room, officials say that a good option is to find a room on the inside of a well built house or building, or take shelter in a basement.

“Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets can gather during a tornado: a basement, a storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor of a building with no windows,” added the American Red Cross, on its website. “In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the middle of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.”

TORNADO IN JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MAY HAVE CAUSED IRREPARABLE DAMAGE’: REPORTS

Large open spaces such as sports halls are bad options for care, according to the National Weather Service, manufactured housing. Officials urge people to an alternative shelter.

Mobile homes should be avoided at all costs, as the Red Cross warns that there are no mobile home, but it is configured, it is safe in a tornado. “Choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building,” it says. “If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your own safe place.”

Vehicles and areas underneath highway overpasses are also to be avoided. “Do not take shelter under an overpass or in a tree,” warns the National Weather Service. “This puts you at greater risk to be killed or seriously injured by flying debris from the powerful tornadic winds.”

DOZENS OF TORNADOES SLAM MIDWEST AS WATER TO RISE, AT LEAST 2 DEAD

Drivers should not try to exceed it with a tornado. “Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle,” warns the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov website. “If you’re in a car or outside and not to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if that is possible.”

After the tornado passed, the DHS, the officials have the following advice: “If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall or use a whistle instead of yelling.”

People should also save their phone calls for emergencies. “Phone systems are often not accessible after a disaster,” explains Ready.gov. “Via text or social media to communicate with family and friends.”

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Storms sweep across Missouri this week killed at least three people injured and nearly two dozen others. The three deaths, more than 150 miles from Jefferson City in the Golden City, Barton County, Missouri near the southwest corner, Missouri, Public Safety said. The extreme weather conditions moved from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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