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Tornado Icon
What if…
Tornado
Understanding
Tornados

What is a Tornado: A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus or cumulus cloud.  Tornados appear as a visible condensation funnel whose wind speeds reach 110-300 miles per hour.  Death and injury from flying debris is the #1 factor when dealing with tornados.

Location:  Tornados in the United States will most often be found in “Tornado Alley”, East of the Rocky Mountains pushing to the east coast.  They are most common during late March- early July and typically move Southwest to Northeast.

Duration:  Little to no warning is involved pertaining Tornados.  Tornados strike quickly and last just as long.  Entire U.S. towns have been wiped out in seconds from tornado activity.

Caveat:  Tornado “Watch” is an emergency alert notifying of a possible tornado events may be present and encouraging residents to verify emergency supplies, bug-out locations, and emergency plans to prepare for any further Tornado warning.   Tornado “Warning” is an emergency alert notifying individuals that a tornado sighting has been identified by weather radar.  These warnings are emergency alerts of imminent danger to life and property.

5 Steps to Survive
Tornados
  1. Always have a 72 hour emergency or 72 hour evacuation bag prepared for each family member, including animals in the household.…Be Ready!
  2. Stay away from windows. If at all possible, “board” up the windows and doors to prevent flying debris from causing additional damage to your family.
  3. Safe rooms, root cellars, basements, closets and lowest levels of buildings are an ideal bug-out location for tornado activity. Do not use candles inside underground locations during a tornado. Stick to using flashlights and non-oil, fuel lanterns.
  4. Turn off all propane and gas tanks and small appliances. Have evacuation routes planned and practice safety before events to prevent fear and confusion during a Tornado event.
  5. If you are in an outside location without access to an underground shelter, find an low-lying area (ditch, canal) below the roadway level, exit your car and lie in that area with head covered with hands.
Tornado
Checklist
  • Water- at least 1 gallon per person per day (3 days worth), Water filters and forward osmosis bags are a great alternative to combat contaminated water sources. High-Capacity, mobile Water Filter; to provide potable water from contaminated water sources
  • Food- At least 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare, mobile stove for cooking food. *Always have waterproof matches in your food mess kit. Store all Emergency Supplies in an easy-to-use container.
  • Large Trauma/ Triage First Aid Kit include, (7 days worth of medications and cash)
  • Multi-purpose tool, Knife, Gas/Water shut off key
  • Flashlight with extra batteries , candles, extra lanterns
  • Personal Hygiene and sanitation items
  • Battery powered, hand-cranked radio with NOAA channel; two way radios to call for help if trapped. Have local emergency channels dialed in for quick reference of emergency directions and evacuation locations.
  • Extra clothing, hat, sturdy shoes (in case of evacuation), Leather gloves, steel toed boots
  • Family and emergency contact information (laminate), Water Proof Document Holders
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier , bowl)
  • Sturdy saw; to assist in cutting fallen debris and creating emergency travel paths
  • Pully system w/ rope, crow bar, breaker bar, Axe, Chain saw, come-along ratchet system
  • Maps of Area
  • Extra wool Blankets, emergency blankets and Emergency bags
  • Root Cellar, basement, safe room with emergency rations prepared (see above)
After a Tornado Strikes
  • Check all family for injuries and apply first aid to persons needing emergency attention.
  • Listen to a portable, battery operated / hand crank radio for updated emergency information around your area. Evacuation locations and emergency supply sites will be identified to assist. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for current updates on the situation.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings, homes, debris fields to avoid further damage or injury.
  • Be aware of snake-like hissing noises, smell of gas when inside of a building or home. If this danger presents itself, remove all individuals from the location immediately and contact the gas or fire departments (if applicable).
  • After a tornado, debris such as trees, boats, homes, vehicles, dead animals, and power lines will pose a serious danger to safety when moving about. Take care to avoid these areas and be aware of the threat. Water may be contaminated, utilize your High-Capacity water filters for potable water.
  • Wear durable-heavy clothing, leather gloves, sturdy boots when cleaning up after a tornado to avoid personal injury.