Tips to Stay Safe in Severe Weather
Tornadoes occur all over the world. The most severe Tornadoes seem to happen more often in the United States east of the Rockies in Spring and Summer months, but severe weather can happen anytime. So, here are some tips to keep you safe.
A tornado is a dangerous and violent rotating column of air dropping down from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most powerful tornadoes can reach wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour and cause great damage.
First, make sure your cell phone is charged, and you have downloaded radioPup. That is where you will be able to get all of the local information you will need if our area is struck by any catastrophic event.
When weather conditions make tornadoes possible, the Storm Prediction Center will issue a TORNADO WATCH. A "watch" means that a tornado could happen, and you should be aware of changing weather conditions.
A TORNADO WARNING is issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado is more than likely on the ground and doing damage. With a "warning" you should take action right away to protect yourself.
If a warning is issued and you are in a house or small building you should seek shelter in a small interior room on the lowest level. If you live in an apartment it's time to meet your neighbors ASAP and make a plan for severe weather. Wrap your self with blankets, clothes, towels, to protect yourself from debris, and flying objects. If you have a helmet of any type, put it on.
If you are in hospitals, schools, factories, or shopping centers, go to the lowest level and shelter in an interior room or in halls on the lowest floor. Do your best to stay away from rooms with lots of glass or areas with wide-span roofs like auditoriums, gyms, and warehouses.
If you are in a vehicle or mobile home, leave it, that is where most severe injuries and deaths come from during tornadoes. Abandon them and look for a more substantial structure for shelter. If a sturdy shelter is not available lay flat in a ditch or lowest level of ground you can find and cover your head with your hands and arms.
You should purchase a NOAA Weather Radio. (I have a little transistor weather radio, that I purchased at Radio Shack.) The National Weather Service recommends getting a radio that has a battery for back-up, and has an audible alarm feature that will alert you in the event of an emergency.
For sever thunderstorms the system works about the same...
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible.
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a thunderstorm producing winds of 58 miles per hour or more and/or produces hail the diameter 3/4" or more is happening.