A tornado watch indicates that conditions are right for tornado development and tornadoes are possible in your area.
A tornado warning indicates that a tornado has been seen in your area or that radar indicates the presence of a tornado. A tornado emergency means that a tornado warning has been issued and it is heading toward a densely populated area. A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm has been spotted in your area, and you should take appropriate precautions and watch for tornadoes.
Keep maps of your local area handy, so that you can identify the location of a storm when it is reported on the radio.
If you are in a structure, find the most interior room, on either the first floor or in the basement.
Safely clean up what you can.[1] Once it is safe to return home or come out, begin cleaning up what you can.
Inform your children about tornadoes, so they will know some of the signs, and will stay alert.
Never go outside during a tornado to witness or calculate the distance of the tornado from your current location. Tornadoes usually last for about 20 seconds, but some rare ones have lasted more than an hour. Do what you can to bring things so that they are in the safe shelter, but move quickly and stay calm. If you are in a car when a tornado hits get out and find a ditch, lie down in the ditch and cover your head. Tornadoes are sometimes obscured by clouds or rain, and there is sometimes no visible funnel cloud. Tornado season is right around the corner and after the devastating tornadoes that affected the nation last year, being prepared for a worst case scenario is more important than ever. Jonathan Reed, a senior journalism and political science major at the University of Alabama, rode out the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa on April 27 at The Crimson White student newspaper office underneath a table in the basement.
Most universities have safety precautions and procedures in place for students while they’re on campus for classes or if they’re living in residence halls. However, for those living off campus knowing what to do to be prepared for a tornado can be more of a challenge.
Below are a list of some basic tips to help you prepare for tornado season from The Red Cross and individuals who have experienced being in the path of a tornado firsthand. The first step in preparing for tornado season is to have a plan of what to do in case a tornado occurs in your area, said Nigel Holderby, chief communications officer for the Southern Missouri Region of The Red Cross. Talk to your landlord, or visit The Red Cross’ website, for specific information about where the safest place in your apartment or home is.
Since most college students don’t live in the same community as their family, communicating with your parents is key about what you will do in case of a tornado and need to contact them about your safety. Creating a disaster kit is a necessary step for preparing for any disaster, not just tornadoes, Holderby said. Weather radios are available from The Red Cross and at stores, such as Walmart, and will alert you to any severe weather in your area, Holderby said.
There are also weather radio apps available for smart phones, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration app, Reed said that you can use if there is bad weather in your area and you’re not at home near a weather radio. Thomas Bentz, a junior criminal justice major at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo., said having a quality pair of shoes to wear after the Joplin tornado on May 22 was absolutely essential. Following alleged social media threats against students of color, WWU announced classes are suspended. At the beginning you really are excited to see your family … and then you’re over it.
Tradition and faith are important to these schools, but they also value diversity and open dialogue. Many places around the globe have witnessed the spectacular but often devastating vortex of tornado winds. This so-called supercell thunderstorm setup is most common in the Tornado Alley but twisters can form at any place where the weather conditions are right. More often than not, tornadoes form in spring due to the unsettled weather in the transitional period when seasons change. The western regions are likely to be hit by tornadoes in the early afternoon, while the eastern parts are more threatened in the early evening.
A network of weather radars is the most commonly used method of detecting atmospheric changes associated with a tornado. Storm spotting is another method used to issue a timely warning about an approaching tornado.
If a tornado watch has been issued in your area, weather conditions appropriate for the formation of a tornado have been detected. A tornado warning means that the Doppler radars have confirmed storm circulation in your area or a tornado has already been spotted.


People in the United States are advised to prepare a family tornado plan, specific for their own home and region. In case you live in the Great Plains states, you are recommended to build an underground tornado shelter or even an external storm cellar (this is the best possible protection – not only will you be sheltered from the winds and the flying debris but even if the main building collapses due to a violent tornado, you will still be able to exit without any problem). Regardless of the region you live in, you should have designated an enclosed windowless area in your home to serve as a safe-haven in case of a tornado. Remember that paper and writing utensils always come handy and provide for some toys and games if you have children. Proper tornado preparedness requires that you get acquainted with the safety plans and requirements specific for your area, and that you practice tornado drills at least once a year.
Make sure your home is well maintained and there are no leakages and holes or broken vents and the like which can aggravate the situation in case of a tornado. A tornado warning generally gives you only a few minutes, so make sure you and your family take shelter as soon as it has been issued.
If you are in a public building, don’t panic – follow the signs to the nearest shelter area and proceed in the same manner as described above – get under a stairwell, away from glass and falling objects, and crouch as low on the floor as possible, facing down and cover your head.
If you are driving and notice a tornado far away, try to get away from its path by moving really quickly at a right angle to the tornado (in urban areas, don’t even think of it – just get out and search for a shelter).
Searching for shelter under bridges and overpasses is actually more dangerous than staying in the open! Consider all these important tornado facts and tornado safety tips when preparing for the tornado season.
You can reach ServiceMaster Complete 24 hours a day at (918) 932-1333 for emergency restoration services in Tulsa, OK. Here in the northeast we have started to see more severe weather that includes hail, damaging winds, tornadoes and lots of lightning.  All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for significant danger. Flash Flood Watch:  Flash flooding is possible in and close to the watch area, but the occurrence is neither certain or imminent. Severe Thunderstorm Watch:  Tells you there is a possibility of severe thunderstorms in your area and they are likely to occur. I thought about this for some time and came up with a plan of how I would get her into the basement and then protect her with cushions, blankets and how I would secure her so she wouldn’t get sucked up in a funnel cloud, never to be seen again.
Planning for these types of events ensures you know what you’ll do if you are caught in a severe weather situation. In an emergency, go to the Red Cross Website, where you can register yourself as safe and also search for family members. Sign up for community alert services that will send you instant text or e-mail alerts for local emergencies. Plan long trips carefully, listening to the radio or television for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions.
3.  If in a car during a tornado, get out immediately and lay flat in a ditch or low-lying area. Take the time to start putting your plan together so you can feel confident your family will have what it needs and be ready for anything life throws your way.
I hope I don’t have to deal with the fear of seeing another tornado rip through our community.
Ten years ago, we had a lot of flooding in our area – enough to shut down the city for a few days.
Part of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are rotating, whirling winds that appear in a funnel shape.
Make sure everyone in the family knows where to go, what to take, and how to be safe if a tornado hits. Tornadoes usually only develop in the presence of thunderstorms (though the thunderstorm may be some distance away from you), so lightning, rain, and hail (especially if occurring after a tornado watch or warning has been issued) should put you on guard.
Even if you know the signs of a tornado, you can't always rely on your own eyes and ears alone to know if one is coming. This will give you a real-time look at storm cells in your area, and because you can see the intensity and direction of movement of storm cells and systems relevant to your home, you can judge more accurately when precautions should be taken. If you hear a tornado watch or a severe thunderstorm watch, you should pay special attention to weather conditions. Never leave your shelter until you are sure that the storm has passed and that it is safe to follow the next directions.
Note all damage, but mostly look for any structural damage that could be an immediate harm to your family. Move hazardous objects with care, and make a note for your insurance company on what has been damaged. Often, tornadoes drop down vertically and lift straight back up, so you will not always observe them coming toward you.
Cheetos and Doritos don't give you the nourishment you need if you were trapped for a long period of time.
The United States, however, seems to be the favorite playground for tornadoes in the world – more than 1000 twisters are being reported each year across the country.


Some less devastating tornadoes, such as the land spouts and waterspouts, do not form as a result of a supercell thunderstorm and can actually appear anywhere anytime. However, it is not always possible to detect certain meteorological situations leading to a tornado, or the storm may just strike too quickly, before the received data has been analyzed.
The Skywarn program that was initiated in the 1970s, trains storm spotters to look out for signs of severe weather and report tornado hazards immediately. Tornadoes typically occur along the trailing edge of a thunderstorm and when wind dies down and the air becomes really still – better prepare quickly! Every family member should know where they can take shelter in the event of a tornado and where is the pre-determined place to meet the others when the storm is over (if they have been separated). If your property does not allow the construction of such protective shelters (an apartment, for example), make sure there is at least one internal room with no windows in your home – it could be a storage room or a bathroom. Store protective coverings in your shelter area, such as sleeping bags and mattresses, or at least very thick blankets, to cover yourself. It should be kept in your safe room and should contain enough supplies for surviving 2-3 days in the shelter.
Make sure not to stay under the places where large heavy items, such as safes or bathtubs, are positioned on the upper floors.
If possible, turn on the radio to listen for updates and important information concerning the tornado and the recommended course of action and stay in the shelter for at least several hours.
However, if a tornado hits while you are in a vehicle or in a mobile home, leave immediately and get into the nearest sturdy building.
Stay away from cars and trees because the winds may blow them onto you and be alert for possible flooding. Unfortunately, the most violent whirling winds can level and blow away however sturdy a house, but such severe storms are really rare.
This manual is designed to show you how to protect your home for severe weather and reduce those dangers to you and your family. Check the kit regularly for expiration dates, and replace any used or out-of-date contents. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. Printing a coupon or ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. It was pretty scary, but that’s when I started really looking at what we needed in case of an emergency.
Listen to local radio stations or watch local TV to stay informed, especially during conditions that are likely to form tornadoes.
These often have supplies, but it's important to bring what emergency supplies you can with you. Stay tuned to the radio for more information on the situation in your town or neighborhood. His favorite article he’s worked on is How to Watch Star Wars on Command Prompt, but the first edit he ever made was a spelling correction on How to Test for Diabetes in Cats.
The Great Plains states, for example, are hit so often by the stormy winds that they got the popular nickname “Tornado Alley”. Climatologists look at the atmospheric patterns to deduce the probability of a tornado formation but a long-term forecast is usually impossible.
This is especially important for regions located far from the Doppler radars because the radar beams spread out and become progressively higher in attitude with distance, thus not being able to properly detect the weather conditions in remote areas. If there is no time or no appropriate shelter nearby, stay inside with the seatbelt on, lower your head below the windows, and cover yourself with a coat or a blanket, whatever you have. If possible, find one with backup battery power and a tone-alert feature, which automatically notifies you when the National Weather Service issues a severe weather watch or warning for your area. Always follow the orders of public officials when doing so, to make sure that you are being constructive and not damaging the situation further. The reason tornadoes occur so frequently in this particular region is geographical – the unsettled weather conditions in spring when warm Gulf air meets cold Arctic air are to blame. A good course of action would be to remind every family member where they can take shelter and to check if you have all the necessary safety supplies (see below for details). So, gather information about tornadoes and devise a smart tornado preparedness plan to ensure your and your family’s safety. Wind vortices form when warm, moist air rise to hit cool, dry air travelling in the opposite direction. This causes the formation of a rotating wall cloud and subsequently – a visible condensation funnel.
It is pulled down due to the very low pressure at the surface created by the intensified updraft and when it reaches the ground, it creates a gust front which can cause severe damages at quite a distance from the actual tornado.



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