April 27, 2011, is a day none of us here in Tuscaloosa will ever forget I was a senior at UA, and I remember people saying we were going to have bad weather but we had no idea how bad. Since going through the tornado, I have become much more weather aware.

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Here are a few things you need to know for the upcoming tornado season. Sometimes tornados can touch down without warning, so be aware of signs such as a funnel cloud, large dark low laying clouds, and hail. As someone who has been through a tornado, I can tell you it has a distinct sound much like a freight train.

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If a tornado strikes while you are home, the CDC recommends that you take cover in either your basement or if you don’t have one, then go to a hallway, bathroom, or closet. Find a room in the lowest part of the structure with no windows and heavy objects above you. According to the CDC head injuries are common causes of life loss during tornados.

If you live in a mobile home, it’s recommended that you find shelter in a nearby building preferably one with a basement. If there is no structure like that, then the CDC suggests you lie flat in a ditch or ravine and protect your head. These and other tips can be found at CDC.gov/disasters.

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If you spot a tornado touched down notify your local radio station so the word can be passed on to others. Communication is key so people can take shelter during the storm.

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