Seven Things You Must Always Remember When Tornadoes Occur

For several states, tornadoes can pose a year-round hazard. Here’s a recap of the key things to keep in mind when your home is at danger from tornadoes.

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The Weather Channel’s Dr. Greg Forbes, a former severe weather expert, and NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center contributed the advice listed below.

1. Locate a secure location to weather the storm.

Are you a resident of a mobile home? Leave. Operating a vehicle? As soon as you can, head for home; if that’s not feasible, find a secure structure.

2. Head underground and away from windows.

Wherever you are hiding, you should be as far away from windows as you can. Even in the absence of a tornado, windows might be broken by wind or hail, injuring anybody in the vicinity.

During a strong storm, you should try your best to shelter underground in a storm shelter or basement. Go to the lowest level of your home’s innermost room or corridor if neither is feasible. Building as many barriers as possible between oneself and the outside world is the aim. This picture was shot in Joplin, Missouri, after the 2011 EF5 tornado, and it illustrates why using this strategy might save your life. While the outside walls of many of the residences have been damaged, a handful of the inside rooms have survived substantially.

3. Should a tornado materialize while you’re driving…

You should look for a secure structure to take refuge in at all costs. NEVER hide beneath an overpass if you are unable to locate one. Rather, locate a ditch, kneel, and cover your head. To avoid having your car blown into you, get as far away from it as you can.

4. Put on a helmet and shoes.

In the event of severe weather when you are at home, be ready for the worst. If a tornado damages your home, you could have to navigate through broken glass, splintered wood, and nails-filled debris. Wearing a pair of shoes before the storm arrives is the greatest method to guarantee they don’t get scattered.

Make sure you wear your riding helmet during a strong storm if you have one. In the event that your house is directly struck, it could protect you from potentially fatal brain damage.

5. Bring your dogs with you and keep them in a container or on a leash.

Since they are relatives, make sure they accompany you to a secure location. If they’re not in a crate, make sure their collar is on for identifying purposes and keep them on a leash. In the event that a tornado damages your home, they may lose familiarity with it and escape. While cleaning up, make sure to move them to a secure area or putting them in a box.

6. Never attempt to drive away from a tornado after leaving your house.

Stay at home if you made it there. Because tornadoes can change their course, it is better to seek shelter than to drive during a storm, even if you believe you are in the direct path of the storm. A slight wobble might cause the storm to move in a new direction, or traffic congestion could prevent you from escaping the storm’s course.

7. Be familiar with the terminology related to extreme weather

Watch for severe thunderstorms: The environment in and around the watch region is favorable for the formation of severe thunderstorms. Hail with a diameter of ¾ inch and/or wind gusts reaching at least 58 mph are produced by these storms.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when one is approaching or has already passed over the warning region and has been spotted by spotters or shown on radar. These alerts typically last between thirty and sixty minutes.

Tornado watch: There is a good chance that numerous, strong thunderstorms may form inside and near the watch region. It is advised that residents in the impacted areas exercise caution in anticipation of severe weather.

Tornado alert: A tornado has been spotted by spotters, or one has been detected on radar and is currently or soon will occur inside the warning region. It is extremely advised that everybody in the impacted region seek shelter right once when a tornado warning is issued.

Tornado emergency: A tornado warning that also indicates a “tornado emergency” is extremely uncommon and should only be issued in the most dangerous circumstances. According to the NWS, this is only issued “when there is a serious threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an impending or ongoing tornado.”