Scenario: Severe Weather (Tornado, Hurricane, WInter Storm, etc.)

After watching a news piece about a recent tornado, Praxis asked me asked me where “Tornado Alley” was located. I was not sure. It is not a precise geographic area. Since I can’t stand not knowing, I went on line to research it. What I found was rather surprising. I did not think I was in a Tornado area. Wrong! I am in a low Tornado probability area. Tornado Alley is a LOT bigger than I thought:

In the US,  Tornados occur most frequently from April through July. Tornados typically occur during the day between 12:00 and 22:00 local time.

Tornado Warning Signs:

Tornados typically occur at the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is common to see clear weather immediately behind the tornado.

The tornado’s funnel cloud may not be easily visible. If a “debris cloud” is visible, assume that a tornado is near.

The wind may die down and the air may become very still immediately prior to the tornado hitting. Do not assume that “the worst is over” and leave the safety of your shelter too quickly.

Tornado Preparedness:

While most tornados occur during the day, not all do. The best item for Tornado Preparedness is a NOAA weather radio with S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) and a battery backup. First Alert Public Alert Radio with S.A.M.E This is like having a “smoke detector” for weather and national emergencies. Once the radio is set up, it will discriminate and only alert you to emergencies in your general area. This can give you the critical seconds to get you and your family to safety.

What to do:

At Home:

  • If you have an engineered tornado shelter, get everyone in it and close the hatch.
  • If you do not have an engineered shelter, get inside the smallest windowless interior room in the lowest level of the home. Preferably this will be in the basement.
  • Stay away from any windows as these may become secondary projectiles.
  • Get down on the floor, preferably under a heavy workbench or table to protect you from falling debris.
  • Get small. Curl up and use your arms and hands to protect your face and neck.

At Work, School or Shopping:

  • Get out of any area with a large ceiling span. (Factory floor, auditorium, warehouse store, etc.)
  • Go to the designated storm shelter area.
  • If you do not have an engineered shelter, get inside the smallest windowless interior room in the lowest level of the home. Preferably this will be in the basement.
  • Stay away from any windows as these may become secondary projectiles.
  • Get down on the floor, preferably under a heavy workbench or table to protect you from falling debris.

On the Road:

  • Do not try to out drive a tornado. It’s faster than you are.
  • If possible, get out of your car and take shelter in any available building.
  • If you are caught in the open, get out of your car, away from it and get into the deepest ditch or culvert that you can find.
  • Get small. Curl up and use your arms and hands to protect your face and neck.
  • Find something solid to hold on to.

 

 

 

 

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