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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Tornado Safety Tips

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Springtime weather is beautiful…and unpredictable. You should always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that contribute to the perfect conditions for a tornado to strike.

April and May are traditionally the months that have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24%, respectively. So that means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States.

Read on as we offer some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Weather Conditions That Could Create A Tornado

Nearly 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year, and they are usually the byproduct of thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado will take shape as changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

At first, the tornado’s signature funnel cloud is transparent, but it will become visible as water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or as dust and debris are picked up.

Typically, tornadoes can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Tornadoes typically occur during the late afternoon during spring and summer, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

Important Safety Tips

Knowing the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning is your first line of defense. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If a warning has been issued for your area, take immediate action and find a safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

You should store working flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home.

If a tornado happens and you are caught out on the road, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

Tornadoes can strike anywhere and wreak absolute havoc on the areas where they touch down. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Northwest Long Beach is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

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