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What to Do in a Tornado: Safety Tips

Safety tips for tornadoes: learn how to protect your family

Tornadoes are some of the most destructive and spectacular natural phenomena that Mother Nature can create! Given the fact that these phenomena can occur all over the world at any given time, it is common sense that all people should know some safety tips for very important tornadoes. You might think that, like hurricanes, tornadoes also have special preferences when it comes to their place and time of birth. Well, they dont, because these wind pipes can originate anywhere in the world where there is flat and dry ground.

In fact, there are places where tornadoes like to play ball with human properties and sometimes live. So if you still dont know if you live (or are nearby) in a tornado area, you might want to check out this list:

  • Tornado Alley, a region in the United States UU. Central, which includes several states (Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri);
  • Uruguay;
  • Australia;
  • United Kingdom;
  • Japan;
  • South Africa

EE. UU. This is the country where tornadoes are most common, and in an area called Tornado Alley, some of the most violent in recent memory are occurring. Whats even scarier is that they have no season; tornadoes can be formed where and when ideal conditions meet. The most relevant example is that about a thousand tornadoes occur each year and more than 60 people die each year. Most do little damage and disappear as quickly as they come to life.

Tornado Cycle

We all know the shape of a tornado funnel, but not many of us know that it is actually a violent air storm that begins with a storm on the ground. The spinning air column contains winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour. At this speed, the tornado sucks everything it finds in its maelstrom: houses, cars, trash, trees, people, etc. Д.

Some of the worst tornadoes have caused billions of dollars in damage. To be prepared for this deployment of forces, you must understand how and why a column of spinning air can form and gain strength. This way, you will have a better understanding of all tornado safety rules.

Most are formed from a simple storm on the ground. When a mass of moist, heavy air meets a mass of fresh, dry air during a storm, they create instability in the atmosphere. The rotational effect (funnel) is created by changing the direction and speed of the wind in the lower atmosphere. Initially, the spin effect is in the horizontal plane, but as the air rises, the rotation in the vertical plane provides an area of rotation 2 to 6 miles wide.

Although it seems like the end of the world happens in the first minutes of a tornado, it also happens rather quickly. Tornadoes do not have a long life; its useful life ranges from a few minutes to a few hours. Scientists are still trying to determine exactly when and why a tornado dies, but one thing is certain: even if they dont last long, they can be powerful enough to lift their home off the ground.

Tornado safety rules that everyone should know

God seems to have a special problem with the central United States, though. I shouldnt count on it. As we said at the beginning, tornadoes need only fulfill a few ideal conditions. These phenomena can occur on land, on the coast, at sea, near a forest, in winter, spring, or summer without warning.

One of the most important pieces of information about tornado safety is that people who prepare in advance for this scenario know how to get through it without much damage or loss. If a tornado catches you off guard and you dont know what actions are necessary, you may have a very noticeable experience.

  • Gather your family and develop a tornado safety plan: make sure everyone knows where the shelter is and how to get there. Also, tornado training at least once a year can be very helpful;
  • If you dont have a shelter, basement, or windowless room to protect yourself, make a plan for nearby shelters: schools, hospitals, stores, storage rooms, bathrooms, etc. Д.
  • Make sure everyone knows where they will meet after a natural disaster (just in case someone goes broke during the storm);
  • Do not try to open the windows of your home. The myth that the pressure will be equal is just that, a myth. A powerful tornado will destroy all windows (open or closed) to pieces. This is why it is very important to be in a windowless room.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with food, fresh water, medicine, and anything else you might need in this case. Keep the kit in your shelter or in a place where it is easy to reach. Be sure to check consumables regularly and replace those that are perishable.
  • Make a list of important information (emergency phone numbers, family phone numbers, anything you think is important) and distribute copies to each member of your family.
  • Make sure your emergency kit includes new batteries, a weather radio, and possibly a battery-powered TV.
  • Where will you be when the tornado arrives?
  • Although very powerful tornadoes that can destroy an entire house and its occupants are quite rare, you should know how to protect yourself depending on the building and location:

If you stay in the house and there is no basement, try to find extra protection under large, sturdy furniture. This way, you will be protected from any flying debris or other objects. At high speed, even a patio chair can be deadly.

If you have a basement or tornado shelter, make sure you arrive on time (with an emergency kit). Close all doors and wait for the rage to pass. Watch the news and weather on the TV or radio to make sure you know when you can leave.

Stay away from cars and mobile homes. They can easily be swallowed up by the vortex and set back many miles. You dont want to be inside when a tornado spits into your car.

If the tornado takes you outside and you dont have time to seek shelter, look for the lowest place and lie face down, protecting your head with your hands. Wait in this position until the storm passes, and try to stay as far away as possible from trees and other heavy objects that the tornado might grab and throw at you.

If you live in an apartment on the upper floors, you should seek shelter on the lower floors. If there is no time there, try to get to the hallway and lie face down.

If you are in school, all you have to do is exercise. Public institutions usually have people prepared for different scenarios.

If you are in an office building, with large windows or in a skyscraper, look for an area without windows, sit down and cover your head.

As you can see, the basic idea is this: no matter where you are during a tornado, always stay away from windows and look for a low, enclosed place where the wind cant get to you.

Other actions and safety tips for tornadoes:

Do not attempt to overcome a tornado, even if you are in a fast car. The recommended action is to leave the car and seek shelter in the depression. If you think it is more dangerous to get out of the car than to be indoors, park the car, fasten your seat belt and put your head below window level.

Large buildings with large rooms and poorly maintained ceilings should be avoided. Churches, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and other buildings also have a special area where people can seek shelter.

Avoid sitting in a corner during a tornado. Always try to sit in the center of the room. Corners attract debris and can be hurt if the wind is able to enter the room.

If you have a disability that prevents you from moving fast enough, you must be very careful when planning your escape route. However, because tornadoes can be fast and sometimes difficult to predict, you may find yourself on your way without assistance.

In this case, there are several steps you should follow according to the state you are in:

  • If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to move away from the windows and into the safest room in the house. It should be small, with no windows and a solid door. Try to cover your body and head with anything (pillows, blankets, arms). That way, you wont hurt yourself too much in case the wind brings debris.
  • If you are in bed and cant move at all, try to cover yourself with blankets and pillows. Always make sure your head is protected. If you can, try to cover the bed with something hard, like a board.
  • If the tornado is forcing you to leave and you cant run away from it, try lying down and covering your head with both hands.
  • Tornado Warning vs.
  • When you live in an area called Tornado Alley (or anywhere else in the world where tornadoes frequently occur), you should know the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado warning:

Tornado warning

This means there may be a tornado in your area. Now is a good time to review your supplies and gather family members to talk about the tornado plan you have organized. Talk to everyone and let your neighbors know to make sure they get the news. Make sure everyone knows what to do and where the nearest shelter is.
tornado danger this means that a tornado has already been detected and is approaching. The warning means imminent tornado danger, and its time to get into the shelter as quickly as possible. As soon as I hear the tornado warning, your plan must turn into action!
Now that you know the difference between observation and warning, you are better prepared to face wind vortices.

Make sure you and your family members understand that tornado safety tips are not just for boring days when you have nothing else to do.

Although they dont look like much at first, tornadoes can become real monsters in a very short period of time.

Top 8 tornado myths

Tornadoes are spectacular bursts of wind, rain, thunderstorms, force, and speed. They can be as weak as an ordinary wind, or as destructive as the strongest hurricane. This is why people are fascinated by their behavior.

For centuries, scientists have tried to explain these spinning winds, and they have all tried to come up with a plausible explanation. As science progressed, so did our knowledge of the weather and its phenomena. Nevertheless, there is some information, and that is why we have the tornado myths we are about to discuss today:

During a tornado, you have to open all the windows to equalize the pressure – Well, if the tornado is powerful enough, it may not be able to withstand the pressure. They usually start by tearing the roof off, and if its strong enough, you can get a truck in the living room. Windows are usually the first to break, whether they are open or closed.

Tornadoes wont hit a big city, they usually head for the countryside.s – If you think a tornado is intimidated by bright lights and tall buildings, you are terribly mistaken. Cities like Miami, Dallas, Salt Lake City and others have been hit several times. Also, a tornado can do a lot more damage in a city because there are more things to collect and discard.

I am safe in the mountains; there are no tornadoes here. – As we have discussed, tornadoes will happen where and when ideal conditions are met. Although there are not many tornadoes in the mountains, they happen here too.

It is believed that tornadoes do not cross rivers. – This myth is a bit absurd, what is a tornado afraid of getting its feet wet? There have been many recorded tornadoes that have jumped big rivers like the Mississippi and continued their destructive path for miles.

You are protected by a bridge or highway.- This myth actually sounds pretty good. Everyone recommends that you submit to something big to keep yourself safe from the storm. However, the bridge is too big. The wind usually gets stronger under a bridge or overpass and can lift cars parked under it. Bridges are not safe places for tornadoes.
A fast car can beat a tornado – This may also seem logical, but remember: tornadoes are the rage of nature. They are fast and can change direction without notice.
Large brick and stone buildings can hold a tornado- Yes, median. Extremely strong tornadoes can pick up cars and charge them for miles. They are extremely dangerous because of the objects they hurl at incredible speeds. If a car is thrown against a brick wall, the odds are that the wall will fall.

If a tornado finds you outside, find a deeply buried pole and cover yourself with a rope.-Well, this is more of a final destination scenario. If the wind is strong, you wont make it to this adventure. Youll be cut through the rope and caught in the right wind.

These myths are important for people who want to know the exact version of the safety rules for tornadoes. Its important to know what it wont work and why, so you can explain it to anyone who thinks its true. When your life depends on tornado safety and rules, make sure the source is reliable and accredited. Always talk to the authorities and organizations that cover this type of natural disaster.

The final conclusion regarding safety tips for tornadoes is that you should always be prepared. You dont need to live in Tornado Alley to know what to do in case a funnel appears on the horizon. Remember that tornadoes also occur in mountains and in large cities protected by rivers. There have been cases where people and fragile objects have been transported by tornadoes without injury or damage, but you didnt want your family to be based on an accident, right?

Basics of preparation

Memo on the actions of the population in a hurricane, storm, tornado, heavy rain and thunderstorms
Depending on the situation encountered, it is necessary to act according to the simple rules below.

If you receive a storm warning (it may be issued after the Attention All signal or only through the media) while you are at home, you should

  • Close windows, doors, and attic spaces;
  • remove things from balconies, loggias, window sills;
  • turn off the gas, put out the fire in the stoves;
  • Prepare emergency lighting, lanterns, candles;
  • Create a supply of water and food for 2-3 days;
  • Prepare medications and dressings;
  • take shelter in the basement, cellar, or occupy an inner room, away from the windows;
  • The pets to hide in the barn, barn, tightly close the doors and windows in them. Create a reserve of food and water for 2-3 days;
  • Do not go outside immediately after the wind weakens: a few minutes later the gust may repeat itself;
  • Leave the TV, radios, and radio on;
  • After the end of the storm, make sure there is no smell of gas. Do not light a fire until you are sure there is no gas leak.

If a hurricane or storm catches you outside, you need to:

  • Take refuge in a shelter or the basement of the nearest building (if possible);
  • quickly lie at the bottom of a ditch, a pit, a roadside ditch;
  • cover your head with a bag, briefcase or any other object;
  • stay away from buildings and trees, bridges and overpasses, billboards, pavilions;
  • Beware of flying fragments of glass, slate, pieces of roofing iron;
  • After the storm, stay away from buildings, poles, high fences – they can collapse. Beware of broken electrical wires.

If a hurricane has caught you in an open area, it is necessary:

  • Take cover in a ditch, a hole, a ravine, any excavation: lie on the bottom and pressed tightly to the ground;
  • Do not take shelter under freestanding trees, near poles, masts, close to power lines.

If you see and hear the rumble of an approaching tornado, you must:

  • Take shelter in the nearest shelter, basement, ravine, lie down at the bottom of any depression and cuddle up to the ground;
  • If driving in a vehicle, leave it immediately and take shelter in a shelter, basement, or folds of ground.

If a thunderstorm or heavy downpour catches you at home, it is necessary:

  • Turn off the TV and other electrical appliances;
  • Close windows and doors, air flow is a good conductor of electric current;
  • Do not stand in front of an open window, do not hold metal objects in your hands. The most reliable place would be in the middle of the room;
  • pets to hide in the stable, barn, close all the windows and doors in them;
  • Provide a deep-bottomed well in the basement of the house and drainage ditches around the house.

If a thunderstorm or heavy downpour catches you in the open, it is necessary:

  • take cover in the folds of the terrain (ditch, pit, shallow ravine);
  • Do not take shelter under freestanding trees, especially oaks and larches;
  • Stay away from metal structures, pipes, and water surfaces;
  • When driving in a car – stop and wait out thunderstorms and downpours.

If you receive a message about an approaching hurricane.

Upon receiving information about the immediate approach of the hurricane, the population should occupy previously prepared places in buildings or shelters (basements, pits, protective structures).

While in the building, in case of strong gusts of wind, it is necessary to move away from windows, take places in wall niches, doorways, by the walls. For protection, you can use, built-in cabinets, sturdy furniture. To turn off gas, to extinguish fire in furnaces. To create stocks of water and foodstuffs for 2 – 3 days. Put medicines and dressing materials in a safe and visible place. Keep radios and televisions switched on at all times, as they can transmit important messages and orders.

If you receive a message about an approaching hurricane while you are at home, you should:

  • Close windows, shutters, doors, attic (ventilation) hatches tightly. Protect windows and showcases with shutters and shields, glass with strips of paper or cloth. From balconies, loggias, window sills to remove things that can injure people if they fall;
  • Remove objects from loggias, balconies (if they are not glazed) that may be thrown by gusts of wind;
  • objects in the yards of private homes, secure or bring indoors; extinguish fires in stoves;
  • before the hurricane winds approach, it is necessary to secure the equipment, individual buildings.

If a hurricane catches you outside, you need to:

  • Take shelter in a solid nearby building (stores, libraries, shopping malls, clinics, etc.), ravines, gullies and other natural shelters;
  • Avoid situations that increase the chance of being struck by lightning (a hurricane can be accompanied by a thunderstorm): do not take shelter under freestanding trees, do not approach the poles of power lines, buildings of substations;
  • In the city, stay away from anything metal (fences, etc.);
  • not to seek shelter in the recesses among the piles of rocks;
  • do not hesitate to throw yourself on the ground if you feel the characteristic tickling of your skin and your hair standing up on end: this means that lightning will strike near you;
  • if you are in the car, stay in it. The metal body of the car will protect you even if lightning strikes it directly;
  • Do not park your car under trees, billboards, near street lighting poles;
  • avoid being on bridges, overpasses, in the immediate vicinity of facilities with hazardous chemicals and flammable substances (chemical, oil refineries, storage bases, etc.);
  • being in a vehicle, leave it and take shelter in the nearest shelter, basement, ravine;
  • Take cover in a ditch, a hole, a ravine, any excavation: lie down on the bottom and pressed tightly to the ground, if you are in an open area;
  • In the course of…

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