Are You Ready For A Tornado?

Are You Ready For A Tornado?

No matter where you live in the United States a tornado is possible. While its true that tornadoes are a lot more likely in some parts of the United States a tornado is possible almost anywhere in the United States and you and your family should be prepared in the event a tornado shows up in your neighborhood.

Tornadoes are a lot more likely to occur in the spring or summer. If tornadoes occur in your area you need to stay prepared and ready. If you know that a tornado is likely to occur be sure to listen to the radio or T.V. for storm warnings.

Do You Know The Difference Between A Tornado Watch And Tornado Warning?

One of the key things you need to know and understand is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means that the conditions in your area are right for a tornado to form. A tornado watch does not mean that a tornado has been sighted.

When they do issue a tornado warning it means that a tornado has been sighted and it may be headed for your area. Head for cover at once. Go to a safe place and stay there until you know the danger has passed. The basement of a house is the best place. If you don't have a basement go to the bathroom and lay in the bathtub. You need to protect yourself from debris and flying glass.

Your Family Needs To Have A Plan In The Event Of A Tornado.

You and your family needs to have a plan. If your home has a basement plan for the family to go there in the event of a tornado. Under the basement stairs is an ideal place for your family to head in the event a tornado is headed your way. The next best place is an interior bathroom. Preferably one with out windows.

If your outside and a tornado is approaching run into the basement of a building if possible. If not lie flat in a ditch or in a low lying area. If you have a storm shelter in your yard go there as soon as you know a tornado is approaching your area. If you live in a area where tornadoes occur on a regular basis you might want to consider constructing a storm shelter so your family will have a safe place to go in the event of a tornado or bad thunderstorm. Your shelter needs to have a weather radio, food and water supplies, battery operated lighting and a secure door that you can lock from the inside.

What Is A Tornado Watch? What Is A Tornado Warning?

A tornado watch means that the conditions in your area are right for a tornado to develop. It does not mean that a tornado has been spotted or is on the ground.

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted and is possibly on the way to your area. If you hear that a tornado warning has been issued for your area get you and your family to a safe place. Either a basement, a storm shelter or an interior closet or bathroom. It needs to be a place with out windows.

Emergency Preparedness: Tornadoes

In The Photo Here Is A EF5 Tornado.

In the photo above is one of the most dangerous tornadoes. It is a EF5 tornado.
In the photo above is one of the most dangerous tornadoes. It is a EF5 tornado. | Source

F4 Tornado On The Ground In Roanoke Illinois

F4 Tornado On The Ground In Roanoke Illinois
F4 Tornado On The Ground In Roanoke Illinois | Source

Be Sure To Prepare A Home Tornado Plan.

Pick a place that your family is going to meet in the event of a tornado. Have at least two meeting places outside the home in case your family gets separated in the event of a tornado. Know that cell phones may not work after a tornado. So have a meeting place or meeting places picked out so your family can meet up and know that each other is safe.

What are F0 - F5 Tornadoes?

F0 Tornado
40 - 72 MPH
Expect light damage like broken tree limbs and roof damage.
F1 Tornado
72 - 112 MPH
Moderate damage like trees snapped off and mobile homes heavily damaged.
F2 Tornado
113 - 157 MPH
Considerable damage like trees uprooted, mobile homes demolished, barns and sheds crushed.
F3 Tornado
158 - 206 MPH
Severe damage like cars, trucks etc lifted off the ground and houses ripped apart.
F4 Tornado
207 - 260 MPH
Devastating Damage like houses wiped out and vehicles thrown 400 or more yards.
F5 Tornado
261 - 318 MPH
Incredible damage like whole neighborhoods wiped out and piles of material left. No one survives.

Seymour Texas Tornado 1987

In the photo is a tornado in Seymour Texas in 1987.
In the photo is a tornado in Seymour Texas in 1987. | Source

Did you know these things about tornadoes?

About 1000 tornadoes a year are reported each year in the United States. There are an average of 80 deaths a year from tornadoes in the United States. In the average year another 1500 people suffer serious injury from tornadoes. You should take tornadoes quite seriously as tornado winds can reach 200 miles an hour and they can destroy everything in their path.

When Are Tornadoes Most Likely To Occur

In the southern United States, peak tornado time is from March through May. The peak time for tornadoes in the northern states is in the summer months. Tornadoes most often occur between 3 P.M. - 9 P.M. When the day heats up and thunderstorms form you often get tornadoes.

You Should Know These Things About Tornadoes

1. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year if weather conditions are right. And they can and do occur in every state in the United States.

2. Never open your windows if you think a tornado is coming. Get away from the windows and potential flying glass.

3. About 69 percent of all tornadoes are labeled as weak tornadoes meaning they exist for 1 - 10 minutes and have a wind speed of 100 miles per hour or less.

4. About 29 percent of all tornadoes are labeled as strong tornadoes meaning they exist for over 10 minutes and can reach wind speeds of up to 100 - 205 miles per hour.

5. About 2 percent of all tornadoes are labeled as F5 tornadoes and they can last over an hour and reach wind speeds of 205 - 300 miles per hour. This is the most dangerous of all tornadoes.

In heavy rain you may not even see the tornado coming. Some people say a tornado sounds like a freight train coming.

If you suspect a tornado is coming and you are in a mobile or modular home get out and go to a storm shelter. If there is no storm shelter lie in a ditch or in a low lying area. If you live in a area where tornadoes are likely to occur you should construct or have constructed a storm shelter so you have a place to go in the event of a tornado or severe thunderstorm.

If your in your house and you have a basement go there as quickly as possible. Get under a heavy piece of furniture if possible. Try to go into a area with out windows so there will be no glass flying around. If you have no basement go to a interior bathroom or closet with no windows.

Be sure that everyone in your family knows the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. Consider buying a battery operated weather radio and keep it near by especially during times that a tornado is possible.

Have A Family Disaster Plan

You should have a Family Disaster Plan in case of a tornado or other natural disaster coming to your neighborhood. Everyone in the family needs to know where to go if a tornado is coming your way. Remember to have one or two meeting places outside the home for after the tornado is over. Remember the area may look quite different after a tornado has gone through the area. The nearest crossroads to your house might be an ideal meeting place. The old oak tree at the edge of your property may no longer be there.

Being Prepared Is The Best Way For You And Your Family To Survive A Tornado

Having a disaster plan, knowing a safe place to go if a tornado is coming, and having regular home tornado drills can prepare your family to survive if a tornado shows up in your neighborhood.

Are You And Your Family Prepared For A Tornado?

Forget the myth that tornadoes only occur in the mid west region of the United States. Tornadoes have now occurred in every state. And while they do occur mostly in the spring and summer months they can and do occur in almost every month of the year. So be sure to be prepared.

Winds in a tornado can approach 200 or more miles per hour and they can destroy everything in their path. Usually but not always there will be weather warnings and weather signs that a tornado may occur in your area. If you think a tornado may be possible in your area its very important to have a weather radio that is battery operated so you can listen to the weather updates and any possible tornado warnings.

Pick a safe place in your home for your family to go to in the event of a tornado. If you have a basement that is the place to go. If not go to a interior bathroom or closet. You want to be in a area where there will be less danger of flying glass.

You are not safe in a mobile home. If a tornado warning is issued for your area leave the mobile home and lie in a ditch or low lying area. If you live in a mobile or modular home you need a storm shelter to retreat to in the event a tornado approaches your home.

Put together a disaster survival supplies kit and store it in a safe place where you can get to it in a hurry and so it will not be blown away by the tornado.

Know how to turn off the gas, water and electricity to your home if a tornado has struck your home. If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak get away from the area because there is a danger of an explosion or fire.

Discuss with your family what they should do if a tornado warning is issued for your area. Be sure that everyone knows where the meeting place is for when the tornado is over. If your family gets separated in a tornado its important to have a designated meeting place. Its also a good ideal to have a back up meeting place in case you can't get to the first meeting place for one reason or another.

Your Disaster Supplies Kit Should Include.

1. Battery operated flashlights and back up batteries. Buy good quality batteries not the cheap ones.

2. Special items for infants, the elderly and the sick. It's a good ideal to have everyone's medical records on a flash drive sealed in a plastic bag.

3. Bottled Water.

4. Canned Food And A Hand Operated Can Opener.

5. Protective clothing, bedding, and sleeping bags.

6. A Complete First Aid Kit.

7. Over the counter medications and a 7 day supply of prescription medications for anyone in your family on prescription medications.

8. Ropes, Hammers, Nails, Tarps.

9. A Weather Radio And Good Quality Back Up Batteries.

10. Several Rolls Of Duct Tape.

Have your Disaster Supplies Kit packed in a large plastic container with a tight fitting lid. I built a little closet for mine out in the barn where hopefully I would be able to get to it in case I needed to in an emergency or after a tornado.

Don't scrimp on the quality of batteries for your weather radio or flashlights. Buy the best quality batteries possible and replace them as often as necessary to keep them fresh.

Practice Family Tornado Drills

If you live in a area where tornadoes are likely to occur you and your family need to have 3 - 4 tornado drills throughout the year to see how prepared your family really is. The important thing is to teach your family to get to your safe place in case a tornado is coming.

What To Do After The Tornado Has Passed.

1. Get out and stay out of damaged areas. Watch out for power lines on the ground. Stay clear of any power line on the ground.

2. Be sure to listen to your battery operated radio for emergency instructions.

3. Use flashlights but never candles after a tornado has passed. If you suspect there is a gas leak and you can not turn it off get out of the area.


DAY OF THE KILLER TORNADOES | Actual Footage of Worst Twisters in U.S. History | Documentary

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© 2015 Thomas Byers

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Are you and your family prepared for a tornado? Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? Please post your comments. 4 comments

GAES STEM profile image

GAES STEM 20 months ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

This is good quality information. It's good to have a checklist and be prepared, especially in tornado season.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I live in a tornado zone, but in a low lying area, so most of them just pass over the area. A few years before I moved here, some high buildings in an apartment complex lost some roofing material and sustained a small amount of damage.


Shannonrb profile image

Shannonrb 20 months ago

Most of my nightmares involve tornadoes.

Maybe this article will give me peace of mind when I sleep!


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 20 months ago from Australia

We get cyclones in some parts of Australia. Fortunately they are nothing like your most frightening tornadoes. Where I live the main danger is bushfires, so I built a fire bunker. It would be safer than our house in a severe cyclone.

How come you have so many original photos of tornadoes? Do you go looking for them, or were you just unlucky?

I notice next to F5 tornado you wrote "No one survives." Does that mean no one except those in their basement or underground safe area? Or is there no such thing as a safe area if an F5 tornado passes over you?

I honestly don't understand why anyone lives in areas ravaged frequently by tornadoes. I don't like to make the same mistake twice ... so I'd move. There's no way I'd rebuild a demolished house and stay in the same area. My family would be out of there.

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