Prepare for Tornadoes

Take these steps for safety before, during, and after a tornado.

  • Tornados have occurred in every state of the U.S.
    Photo by Pixabay/Skeeze
  • Get a plan for disasters with “Your Emergency Game Plan” by Shawn L. Tipping, Sarah E. Tipping, and Robert D. Harris.
    Cover courtesy Game Plan Preppers LLC

Your Emergency Game Plan by Shawn L. Tipping, Sarah E. Tipping, and Robert D. Harris helps prepare you for emergency situations. Learn what steps you can take before and during an emergency to minimize harm. This excerpt, from chapter 19, will help you prepare for a tornado.

Signs of a Tornado

As one of nature’s most unpredictable manifestations, tornadoes can be sudden, violent, and devastating. More than 1,000 tornadoes occur on average each year in the United States. Most occur in the late spring and early summer months, typically in the early evening into the overnight hours. The majority of tornadic activity occurs in the Midwest and lower plains states. But, surprising to some, tornadoes have occurred in every state. Because tornadoes can appear instantaneously, even tornado watches should be taken very seriously. Pay continued attention to weather forecasts during a tornado watch and know these signs of an impending or actual tornado:

Green or Yellow-Tinged Sky. While a sky with a green or yellow tinge doesn’t necessarily mean a tornado is looming, it is often a strong sign to take cover. In the least, these clouds often carry hail, which commonly accompanies tornadic activity.

Wall Cloud. A convective cloud, such as a wall cloud, is formed when the atmosphere is unstable. These clouds may stand vertically, rather than holding their usual horizontal stature, or may have vertical wisps. Funnel clouds often originate from these clouds.

Funnel Clouds. Funnel clouds can form slowly or quickly. If you happen to see one or just think you do, find shelter immediately. Once a funnel cloud hits the ground, it’s a tornado.

Cloud of Debris. Tornadoes aren’t always the dark, tightly knit twisters portrayed in the movies. If you see objects rotating in the air, find cover. A tornado’s dark color is mostly due to the dirt accumulated in the rotation. Just because a tornado (or technically, a funnel cloud) hasn’t hit the ground doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Most deaths and injuries attributed to tornadoes are due to flying debris.

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