What is it?
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
Who is at Risk?
Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.
Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
3 Ways to Prepare:
1) Build an emergency kit that will provide food, water and medical supplies for your family for at least 72 hours.
2) Determine a safe room in your home that can accommodate all family members and pets during a tornado. Develop a family communication plan and a meeting spot in the event that family members are separated.
3) Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
3 Things Responders Need to Know
Your Smart911 Safety Profile can provide 9-1-1 and responders with valuable details in an emergency. Details such as:
Description of your home: The storm may have damaged street signs or house numbers, but a photo or description including color and siding may help emergency crews locate your home.
Photos of family members: When emergency crews arrive on site the scene could be very chaotic. By having a photo of the person in need, crews can find them and assist faster.
Vehicle information: A tornado may destroy access points to a home. By knowing if someone has mobility restrictions or special medical equipment, rescue crews can arrive on site with the proper equipment on hand.
Download Tornado Graphics & Flyers
More Preparedness Tips:
*information on this page has been compiled from various sources including ready.gov, noaa.gov, redcross.org and the CDC