Tornado Preparation Guide


Before a Tornado

•    To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
       (See pdfs of lists on the bottom of the page)
•    Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
•    Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Look for the following danger signs:

o    Dark, often greenish sky
o    Large hail
o    A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
o    Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
o    If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Tornado Facts
Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:

•    They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
•    They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris
       are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
•    The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast,
       but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
•    The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
•    Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
•    Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
•    Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains
       during spring and summer months.
•    Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May;
      in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
•    Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

Know the Terms
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:
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.

For more information on natural disasters and preparedness, go to:

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Jul 20, 2015, 6:44 PM