Tornadoes are nature’s most wild and furious storms that strike mostly beginning in March and ending in June. They form from powerful thunderstorms due to cool air overriding a layer of warm air, making warm air rise rapidly, and can cause fatalities and completely ruin and devastate a neighborhood in less than a minute.
Tornadoes appear in a funnel shape and are fast rotating, extending from a thunderstorm to the ground, the wind speed can reach up to three hundred miles per hour. The damage path can be about one mile wide and fifty miles long. There are tornadoes who are clearly visible, yet some can be hidden due to rain or nearby low hanging clouds. Occasionally some form really fast that little to no warning is possible. Tornadoes usually occur near the edge of the thunderstorm, it is not uncommon to see sunlit skies behind a tornado.
Before a tornado:
Beginning to prepare, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, in any possible emergency listen to the instructions given by the local emergency management officials.
Be alert and look out for approaching storms and any of the following danger signs: dark sky, large hail, large low laying cloud, and loud roars. If you happen to see approaching storms be ready to take shelter immediately.
During a tornado:
If you find yourself under a tornado warning, seek shelter as fast as possible, most injuries that happen due to high wind are from flying debris, protect your head with a helmet.
In a shelter: Safest place to go to is a pre-designed room such as a basement, storm cellar, safe room, or the lowest building level. If there is no such room then going to a center of a small room is the next safest place, stay away from corners, doors, windows. Having a room with the lowest numbers of doors and windows is the best option.
Outside with no shelter:
If possible, go into a study building as fast as possible, if not, do not try to go into a car and outrun a tornado, it can catch up to you and lift your car and toss it away, very low to no chances of survival. Do not even think going under a bridge and think it is a good idea, lie in a ditch or low lying area.
Living in a mobile home makes you particularly vulnerable. They can overturn even though precautions have been taken to tie the unit down.
After a tornado:
See if you can find a trapped or injured people. Give first aid when needed, and do not try to move the serious injured people unless they are in danger of further injuries, call for help. Help your neighbors if they need any assistance, the elderly, disabled, pets etc. Stay out of damaged buildings and listen to the radio or TV for information. Take pictures of your home and contents to make insurance claims an easier process.
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