There have been eight tornadoes in New Jersey this year, prompting warnings from the American Red Cross to residents.

There were three tornadoes in New Jersey just last Wednesday — in Springfield, Union County; Millville, Cumberland County; and Hightstown, Mercer County. A woman suffered a "minor cut" from flying glass when the 75-mph tornado touched down at 4:33 p.m. in Hightstown, but so far, no one has been killed.

Red Cross New Jersey chapter Spokeswoman Diane Concannon says if a twister's hitting your neighborhood, your first defense is to head for the basement or underground schelter — if you have one.

"I think in New Jersey we are more used to hurricanes and having a little bit more advanced notice and time to prepare," Concannon said. With tornadoes, you need to know what to do at that moment and take action. That's why knowing the difference between a watch and a warning is so important. A tornado watch lets you know that the conditions or are there for a tornado to possibly occur, and a tornado warning means that it is occurring or will occur very soon."

If you don't have a basement, she said, get into the central part of a home, away from any windows or anything that you could break in and injure you.

If you're on the road, Concannon said, get down in your car as low as you can.

"If you do see that outside you could get to somewhere lower than the level of the roadway, then you should get out of your car and lie in that area, and ... cover your head with your hands," she said.

Some other tips from the Red Cross:

*Move items inside from the yard or porch. They can be picked up and turned into missiles if caught by a strong wind or a tornado.
* When severe weather warnings or watches are posted, keep an eye on the sky. You might be looking for dark, often greenish clouds. You might see a cloud of debris, see large hail, hear a roaring noise or see a funnel cloud.

More severe weather is forecast for Tuesday, according to Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.


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