The safest place to be in the event of a tornado is an underground shelter – such as a basement – according to spokesman for the local firefighters union.

If you don’t have a basement, pick a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level. With the current weather conditions and recent tornados in the region, you local firefighters want to remind you to DUCK when a tornado warning is issued or if threatening weather is forecast. DUCK stands for:

D - Down to the lowest level

U - Under something sturdy

C - Cover your head

K - Keep in shelter until the storm has passed

“It is also important to know your community’s tornado alert system,” says Jon Bertsch, president of the Cheyenne Firefighters union. “This is critical since tornados often occur suddenly with little or no warning.” In addition, know how to recognize an approaching tornado by watching for ominous signs. A dark or green colored sky may be the observed. Be aware of large, dark, low-lying clouds and large hail. “If you hear the loud roar like a freight train, DUCK!” Bertsch added.

The Cheyenne Firefighters also stress the importance of taking the necessary precautions before a tornado develops, and also a plan of action following a tornado. For more information, contact your Cheyenne Firefighters or the American Red Cross. If you are ever in immediate danger and need emergency help, call 9-1-1.