The Storm is Approaching: Tornado Preparation & Safety
By Rachael Britton, Grade 9

Turn on the news channel right now, and I’m sure within the next  half an hour you’ll see a newsreel of the deadly tornado’s that have devastated different parts of the US. We all think, “Oh, but we’re safe, because a tornado won’t show up in Florida.” But that assumption is an empty one. No one controls the weather, and even now it’s very hard to predict when the next storm will hit. We all must be prepared and know what to do in the event that a tornado comes our way.

Being Prepared

-When there are thunderstorms in your area, turn on the TV or go online to www.weatherchannel.com to make sure there aren’t any tornado or other natural disaster warnings in your area.
-If there is a tornado watch, just keep tuning in to your TV or online, or even on the radio for further developments. If there is a tornado warning, take shelter immediately, for this means that a funnel has been spotted.
-Keep fresh batteries and a battery operated radio or TV in a special place in your home, so if the power goes out when you need it most, to listen or watch the weather reports, you’ll still be “in the know” about what’s happening.
-Take a little while with your family to plan out a tornado escape plan through your house. Mark where the fire extinguisher and medial kits are kept. Ask your parents to teach you and your siblings how to do basic first aid, operate a fire extinguisher, and turn off gas, electricity, and water in your home. If there is a tornado warning, do a drill to make sure everyone in the family knows where they need to go, but do not go outside.
-Inspect your medical kits and make sure they are well stocked.
-Pick a place that all your family will go to in the case of a tornado. Stay AWAY from windows.
-Store blankets in your basement in the case of a tornado.

What to do During a Tornado

-Weather signs such as a dark or green coloured sky, a large, dark, low-lying cloud, or a loud roar may indicate a tornado, so pay attention to the sky.
-Stay away from the windows, as exploding glass can injure or kill.
-The safest part of the home is in the basement. If you don’t have a basement, go to a place that is on the lowest floor and doesn’t have any windows, such as a bathroom.
-For added protection against debris, get under something heavy, such as a table. If possible, also cover yourself with a blanket or sleeping bag. Protect your head with anything you can, even your hands.
-Do not take shelter where there are heavy things, such as pianos or refrigerators, can fall on you.
-If you have a mobile home, DO NOT STAY INSIDE. Mobile homes can be picked up and tossed around. Make your way to the nearest building, preferably one with a basement. If there isn’t any shelter nearby, take shelter in the nearest ditch by lying flat with your hands over your head.
-If you are driving and you see a tornado, don’t try to outrun it. Get out of your car and lie down in a ditch or ravine with your hands over your head. Avoid places with trees and vehicles.
-If you are in a long span building, such as a movie theatre or mall, stay away from the windows and get to a door frame or something that will be supported above you and will protect your from falling debris. If you are at the movies, get under the seats. NEVER USE THE ELEVATOR, which may stop if the power fails, leaving you trapped.


-Check yourself and anyone with you for injuries. If you or anyone else is seriously hurt, do not try to move them. Get medical assistance immediately.
-One of the most important things to do is to stay calm. If you are hysterical, it will be harder for any safety official or family member to keep you from further harm.
-Don’t touch downed electrical wires.
-Be aware of safety hazards, such as nails or glass.

This may seem like a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter. The truth is: it does matter. It all boils down to being prepared. Don’t believe that a tornado will never affect you, because it can and it might. Keep a calm head in any natural disaster situation, and make good decisions based on your predicament. Stay safe!  


Historic Church - Williamsburg
Three Interesting Places to Visit This Summer
By Maggie Poling, Grade 9

Summer is here! Summer is here! I could scream it to the heavens and down to the pit of the oceans for days and days I am so excited! 

Phew, alright, now that that is out of my system, let’s discuss what exactly “summer” implies: fun under the sun, long lazy days of doing nothing (or everything!), and, quite possibly…a road trip!

Now, the question is, where to go? Your family has no clue, your friends are putting it all on you, but you don’t know what to do! Which is exactly why I’m here - to help you! Check out the following ideas, and hopefully, you will find precisely what you were looking for.

Williamsburg, Virginia: If you’re interested in learning about history, going on ghost tours, or perhaps even riding a horse…Williamsburg is the place for you! I went there many years ago when my brother was attending a summer baseball camp in the area, and it is an absolutely stunning place. This is a town rich in history. For example, George Washington’s military headquarters were located here. In addition, Thomas Jefferson attended William and Mary, a prestigious college in Williamsburg. And while there, enjoy the many shops and towns people who are proud of their evident culture.

Savannah, Georgia: This city is just about as eccentric as they come, but that’s not a bad thing! From touring cemeteries, to eating comfort food at Paula Deen’s restaurant, Savannah, Georgia will be an experience like no other! I would also advise you check-out the “Bird Girl Statue” at the Telfair Museum of Art. You may recognize the monument from the cover of the bestselling novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. How cool is that?!

Mackinac Island, Michigan: I grew up in Michigan, and at one point in time went to Mackinac Island with my Girl Scout Troupe. It’s a while away from Florida, but it’s worth the trip up. Why? Well, just like Savannah and Williamsburg, there is no place like it in the world. Along with the cities mentioned above, it has a rich sense of history, and a casual feel. In fact, cars are prohibited on the island! There are only bikes, walkers, and horse-drawn carriages for means of transportation. In addition, there is also a wonderful “House of Butterflies” where you can walk around an enclosed space full of the most vibrant, unique butterflies around. And, of course, The Grand Hotel is a sight to see! Even if it’s too expensive to stay at, you definitely want to stop by and indulge in its majestic appeal.


6/3/2011 05:37:40 am

Great Article about tornado preparation Rachel!
God Bless.

6/3/2011 10:12:27 pm

Thanks a lot Delany! :DD


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