What is a tornado?
A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. They are capable
of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of up to 300 mph. They can destroy large buildings, uproot trees and hurl vehicles
hundreds of yards
How do tornadoes form?
Before thunderstorms develop, a change in wind
direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower
An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm.
Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.
are tornadoes most likely to occur?
Tornadoes can happen at any time of the year
and at any time of the day. In the southern states, peak tornado season is from March through May. Peak times for tornadoes
in the northern states are during the summer. A few southern states have a second peak time for tornado outbreaks in the fall.
Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
BEFORE A TORNADO: Have a disaster plan. Make sure everyone knows where to go in case a tornado threatens.
Make sure you know which county you live in. Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit,
canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective
clothing and written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.
DURING A TORNADO: Go to a basement. If you do not have a basement, go to an room without windows on the lowest
floor such as a bathroom or closet. If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table. If you live in a mobile
home get out. They offer little protection against tornadoes. Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your
car, leave it immediately. If you’re outside, go to a ditch or low lying area and
lie flat in it. Stay away from fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas.
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