tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm
to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction
with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile
wide and 50 miles long
Remember, tornadoes occasionally develop in areas in which a severe thunderstorm
watch or warning is in effect. Remain alert to signs of an approaching tornado
and seek shelter if threatening conditions exist.
Familiarize yourself with the following terms to stay alert and prepared:
- Tornado Watch - Conditions are conducive to the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area.
- Tornado Warning - A tornado has actually been sighted by spotters or indicated on radar and is occurring or imminent in the warning area.
Tornado Safety Tips
Before the Storm:
- Develop a plan for you and your family for
home, work, school and when
- Have frequent drills.
- Know the county and keep a highway map nearby
to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
- Have a NOAA Weather
Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive
- Listen to radio and television for information.
- If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary
action if threatening weather is possible.
If a Warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches:
- Have a pre-designated safety spot.
- Go to the lowest level possible in a structure.
- Put as many walls between you and the outside as youcan.
- Avoid windows and glass.
- In a basement stay under the center support beam, a
stairwell or heavy piece of furniture for protection from falling
debris. Stayout of corners; debris often collects in corners.
- If you have no area below ground level, use ahallway,
closing doors off to outside rooms. A small interior room (bathroom or
closet) away from outside walls and windows would be preferable to
large roomsor rooms with outside walls.
Outside or in homes of modularconstruction:
- Get to a safe shelter if possible. Do not try tooutrun a
tornado in your car. If caught in the open, leave a vehicle and go to a
low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine. Lie flat and cover your
- Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer littleprotection from tornadoes and should be abandoned