The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Safety Tip of the Week

May 25, 2011

The tornadoes that have devastated parts of the Midwest and South in the past week, particularly Joplin, Mo., have provided a tragic reminder of how little warning you can have when such a natural disaster strikes. This week's tip, culled from AAA and State Farm, offers advice on what safety measures you should take if you're in a vehicle during a tornado. You may want to pass this advice along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.

  • A "tornado warning" means a twister is developing or is actually on the ground. It is more severe than a "tornado watch," which means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms, which may or may not spawn tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes can toss cars and large trucks around like toys. Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning issued on the radio or by siren, get out of your vehicle and seek a safe structure.
  • Seeking shelter indoors is best, if possible. A basement is safest. Closets or small interior rooms are preferable. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture or mattress and stay away from south and west walls and all windows.
  • Do not seek shelter in a mobile home. These structures, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.
  • If you are caught in the open, with no indoor buildings available to you, find a ditch, ravine or low-lying area and lie flat. Stay away from roadway overpasses. Cover the back of your head and neck with your hands; keep alert for flash floods.
  • In general, whenever you're driving during a storm, remember that wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are most dangerous during the first 10 minutes of a heavy downpour as oil and debris wash away. Driving on wet roads in the rain is just like driving on ice. Take it easy and allow extra time.

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