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Editorial: Practice tornado safety is critical

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opinion Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

America's tornado season is well under way -- as was demonstrated Wednesday as multiple killer tornadoes ripped across the South killing at least 284 people across six states.

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Experts say Wednesday the storm that spawned a tornado formed in Mississippi and traveled for over 300 miles.

Wednesday's outbreak was the deadliest day since 1974 when a series of tornadoes killed more than 300 people across 11 states.

The cool month of April has spared west central Minnesota and the rest of the state from any tornadoes so far.

However, our cool fortunes will not last long. Sunshine and warm temperatures will eventually change our weather to hot days and thunderstorms, which will increase the chances of tornadoes.

Today is a good day to review tornado safety at your home and business.

n If a tornado watch is issued for your county, continue your normal activities, but keep track of weather reports. You can use wctrib.com to send you weather alerts to your email or mobile phone.

- If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek safety immediately. Go to the basement, get under something sturdy and cover yourself.

- If you are in a larger building, go a small, interior room -- like a closet or bathroom -- or a hallway on the lowest floor possible.

- If you are in a vehicle, abandon your vehicle and seek a study shelter, like a permanent structure. Many people who attempt to drive away as an escape often do not make it.

- If you are outside without shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head.

Practice and discuss the best safety procedures at your home and business. Knowing what to do immediately when the need arises may save your life.

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