Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know
Springtime weather, while beautiful, can often be unpredictable, so it is good to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.
During the months of April and May, we traditionally have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.
There are approximately 1,200 tornado events in the U.S. each year, and they develop in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”
The signature funnel cloud of a tornado is transparent when it first develops until it picks up water droplets from the storm or when dust and debris are picked up.
A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.
Tornadoes will typically occur late in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can happen anytime and anywhere.
Understand the difference between a tornado watches and tornado warnings. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
If there has been a warning for your area, and you are in the path of the tornado, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter.
Shelter options include:
- Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
- The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
- If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
- If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Make sure that you have stored flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home.
If you are driving during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.
Tornadoes sometimes leave devastation for miles in the areas they touch down. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.
If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.