Safety tips: Taking shelter away from home - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Safety tips: Taking shelter away from home

(Source: CNews/ Campbell,MO) (Source: CNews/ Campbell,MO)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

If you are not at home when severe weather hits, what do you do? Do businesses have set procedures?

Places like Schnucks do offer shelter for shoppers and employees.

"We have a central location in the back, one of our coolers  has a concrete surrounding," Co-manager Jon Townsend said. "It is our tornado shelter, storm shelter. And in an event of a tornado warning we would make announcements over the PA, telling the customers and the employees where to go."

Townsend said he has had to put that plan into place before.

"It's a bit chaotic," Townsend said. "A lot of people want to go the windows and look outside and believe it or not some people want to leave and we can't stop them from leaving we just highly discourage it. And we ask them to come to the shelter, but we cannot force anyone."

For Townsend, this procedure represents a structure to keep everyone out of harms way.

"This is a large building, lots of glass up front, and safety is paramount," Townsend said. "It is first and foremost for everyone."

Shopper Tim Randell hopes he never has to find shelter away from home.

"It'd be really freaky," Randell said. "I am terrified of tornadoes. So I would definitely be freaked out."

However, he takes comfort knowing that some businesses have a plan.

"I know leaving is one of the worst things you can do in the middle of a storm," Randell said. "I'd rather be in a building that's stable then out in the elements."

Susan Hall, owner of Shop LaLa, said a lot of the buildings in downtown Cape Girardeau are not equipped with basements or safe rooms to hold people if severe storms hit.

That's why Hall said she will typically close her doors early when bad weather is on its way.

When a tornado warning is issued the Red Cross recommends people find an underground shelter or windowless interior room

However, if you are caught outdoors, there are some last resort tips if a shelter is not an option.

  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
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