Toto, I’ve A Feeling We’re Not In Kansas Anymore Tornado Preparedness Planning
Tornado Preparedness Planning and what you need to know so you don’t end up in Oz. We all know the story of the girl in the blue checkered dress, her dog, and a flying house that lands on a witch. It’s a great story with a happy ending, but the rarely do tornados have a happy ending for those caught in their path. A better movie that may convince you about the importance of Tornado Preparedness Planning is Twister.
If you recall, the movie Twister follows storm chasers and a data collecting prototype, wait for it, called Dorothy in hopes of gathering data from the most powerful storm in decades.
What is a Tornado?
A rotating funnel-shaped cloud formed as a result of a very powerful thunderstorm. The funnel-shaped cloud stretches from a cloud to the ground with winds reaching speeds as high as 300 miles per hour. The path of a tornado can be more than a mile wide and stretch more than 50 miles destroying everything in its path.
Tornado Quick Facts
- Tornado Season – during the spring and summer months east of the Rocky Mountains, March through May for the southern states, and late spring through early summer for the northern
- Time of Day – most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time
- Waterspouts – a tornado that forms over water
The Tornado Warning Signs!
Tornadoes can strike quickly with little or no warning. The key is to be prepared and familiarize yourself with the early warning signs. Pay special attention to dark greenish skies, dark, low-lying clouds, rotating clouds, hail, and loud noise that sound like a moving freight train.
Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
Tornado Preparedness Planning
- Develop a Tornado Preparedness Plan – Home, Business, or School
- Share the Tornado Preparedness Plan
- Practice your Tornado Preparedness Plan
- Predesignate safe areas within your home, work, or school
- Prepare an emergency kit(s)
- Develop a communication plan
In the event of a Tornado!
Indoors – Seek Safe and Secure Shelter
- In a basement, storm cellar, lowest building level possible, a safe room; or
- In the center of a small interior room on the lowest building level; or
- In a closet or interior hallway away windows, doors, and outside walls
- In a mobile home
- Do not open windows!
Caught Outside – Seek Safe and Secure Shelter
- In a vehicle, seek safe and secure shelter; or
- In a stationary vehicle put your seat belt on and cover your head;
- No shelter available, find the lowest area possible (below ground level,) lie down and cover your head
- Do not seek shelter under a bridge or overpass
- Avoid flying debris
For additional information on Tornado Preparedness Planning, visit Ready.gov you can even find plans for building a Safe Room. The source information for this document and additional resources are available at Ready.gov.
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