The Canadian Red Cross is providing tips on how to be prepared and stay safe in what is proving to be an active tornado season.
According to the Red Cross, there have been 16 twisters in Saskatchewan so far, which is just two short of the yearly average.
Georgiana Schuring, operations manager of disaster management in Saskatchewan, explained it’s important to be ready before threatening weather approaches.
“The first thing is to sit down with your family and friends and work out a plan,” she said.
That includes determining where you will take shelter in the event of a tornado which could depend on where you are at the time — in a house, apartment, at work or on the road.
If you’re in a building, she recommended finding a strong, low-level area like a basement, stairwell or hallway with no windows. She said never try to ride out the storm in a vehicle because the storm could lift and flip it. She recommends to get out and find a secure structure or get into a ditch.
Once the storm has passed, Shuring said it still might not be safe.
“If you’re in a safe place, wait,” Shuring said, “Wait until you’re told it’s safe to go outside.”
She then encouraged people to observe your surroundings — look around for downed power lines and overhanging branches that may fall.
If you need help after a severe weather event, the Red Cross can provide aid for 72 hours, including emergency lodging, food and clothing.
Shuring explained, so far in 2018, the Red Cross hasn’t had to help any families with housing because of tornadoes in Saskatchewan.
“The wonderful thing about Saskatchewan is how much neighbours come around and help each other, so not every family will need shelter but we’re there if they need it.”
The Red Cross has reached out to communities as a whole to offer assistance. It provided 100 cleanup kits to Kindersley after the damaging storm blew through in early July.
If you need help from the Red Cross, you can call the 24-hour phone line at 1-888-800-6493. You can also find more tornado preparedness information on the app.