Tornados are nature's most violent storms. They spawn from powerful thunder storms and form as a rotating funnel-shaped cloud that can reach ground speeds of up to 300mph. A tornado can move across land at speeds of up to 70mph and can spawn when hurricanes or tropical storms reach land. A tornado can destroy a whole town in seconds and can leave a trail of devastation more than a mile wide.
States at highest risk for frequent tornado activity are Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Florida, although a tornado can form anywhere. Spring and summer months are considered 'Tornado season.'
PREPARE A HOME TORNADO PLAN
- Choose a room where family members can gather. The safest place to be during a tornado is underground. If you have a basement or a cellar, make it your tornado shelter. If there is no basement, choose a small room in the center of your house on the lowest floor, like a closet or hallway. Keep this place uncluttered and store your Survival Kits and Emergency Supplies here!
- If you are in a high-rise building and you don't have time to get to the lowest floor or basement, choose a hallway or small room in the center of the building.
ASSEMBLE A TORNADO SAFETY KIT
Make sure your kit contains:
Know What Tornado WATCH &
Tornado WARNING means:
A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area.
- Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are usually issued by the town, county or parish.
- Get to safety immediately.
When a Tornado WATCH is Issued!
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and local radio and TV stations for further updates.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you.
- Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
When a Tornado WARNING is issued!
- If you are inside, go to the safe place you chose to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
- If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
- If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).
- After the tornado passes: Watch out for fallen power lines and do not venture into the damaged area.
- Listen to your emergency radio for information and instructions.
- Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage (avoid using candles or matches).
Forget the Wizard of Oz notion that "twisters" only happen in Kansas. Tornadoes have been reported in every state. While they generally occur during spring and summer, they can happen at any time of the year. With winds swirling at 200 miles an hour or more, a tornado can destroy almost anything in its path. Generally, there are weather signs and warnings that will alert you to take precautions. Be prepared by having various family members go through each of the items on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your Home Tornado Plan.
Pick a safety spot in your home where family members could gather during a tornado. (If you have a basement, make it your safety spot.) Make sure there are no windows or glass doors in the area. Keep this place uncluttered!
Basement: YES [___] NO [___]
If yes, the basement is your safety spot.
If no (or if you're in a high-rise building), choose another safety spot.
Location of Safety Spot: [_________________]
If you live in a mobile home, choose another safety spot in a sturdy, nearby building.
Location of Safety Spot: [_________________]
Put together a tornado Safety Kit in a clearly-labeled, easy-to-grab box.
Location of Tornado Safety Kit: [_________________]
Write instructions for how and when to turn off your utilities - electricity, gas, and water.
Instructions Written on: [_________________](Date)
Make sure all family members know the name of the county or parish where you live or are traveling. Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by the county or parish.
Name of County/Parish Where You Live:
Name of County/Parish Where You Are Traveling to:
And remember...when an Earthquake, Hurricane, Fire, Flood, or other emergency happens in your community, you need to be self-sufficient because there may not be available help for you and your family.
Thatís why our role at BestBePrepared continues to be preparing you and your loved ones.
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