Tornadoes are some of the most destructive and fascinating natural phenomena that Mother Nature can produce! Given the fact that these phenomena can occur around the world at any given time, it is common sense that all people should know some safety tips for very important tornadoes. You might think that, like hurricanes, tornadoes also have special preferences when it comes to their place and time of birth. Well, it is not like that because these wind pipes can start anywhere in the world where there is a flat and dry land.
In fact, there are some places where tornadoes love to play ball with the properties of people and, sometimes, live. Therefore, if you still do not know if you live (or close) in a tornado area, you may want to review this list:
- Tornado Alley, a region in the USA UU Central that includes several states (Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri);
- South Africa.
USA UU It is the country where tornadoes occur most frequently and the area called Tornado Alley is where some of the most violent had occurred over time. What is even more terrifying is the fact that they do not have a season; A tornado can be formed where and when ideal conditions are met. The most relevant example is that there are around a thousand tornadoes each year and more than 60 people die each year. Most of them do not produce much damage and disappear as quickly as they came alive.
The cycle of a tornado.
We all know the funnel shape of a tornado, but not many of us know that it is actually a violent storm of air that begins with a storm on the ground. The rotating air column contains winds that can reach up to 300 mph. At this speed, the tornado sucks everything it finds in its whirlpool: houses, cars, debris, trees, people, etc.
Some of the most violent tornadoes left damages worth billions of dollars. To be prepared for such a deployment of forces, you must understand how and why a column of rotating air can be formed and gain power. This way you will better understand all the rules of tornado security.
Most of them are formed from a simple storm on the ground. When a mass of moist, heavy air encounters a mass of fresh, dry air during a storm, they create instability in the atmosphere. The spin effect (the funnel) is created by changing the direction and speed of the wind in the lower atmosphere. At the beginning, the spin effect is in a horizontal plane, but when raising the air, the rotation in the vertical plane allows an area of rotation of 2 to 6 miles in width.
Although it seems that the end of the world is happening in the first minutes of a tornado, it also happens pretty fast. Tornadoes do not have a long life; Its useful life goes from a few minutes to a few hours at the most. Scientists are still trying to determine exactly when and why a tornado dies, but one thing is for sure: even if they do not last long, they can be powerful enough to lift their house off the ground.
Tornado safety rules that everyone should know.
Although it seems that God has a special problem with the central area of the United States. UU., I should not count on that. As we said at the beginning, a tornado only needs a few ideal conditions to be fulfilled. These phenomena can take place on land, on the coast, in the sea, near a forest, in winter, spring or summer without warning.
One of the most important data about tornado safety is that people who prepare in advance for this scenario know how to get through it without much damage or loss. If a tornado takes you by surprise and you do not know what actions are necessary, you may have a very marked experience.
The preparation is the first safety advice:
- Gather your family and establish a tornado safety plan: make sure everyone knows where the shelter is and how to get there. Also a tornado drill at least once a year can be very useful;
- If you do not have a shelter, a basement or a windowless room to protect yourself, make a plan for your closest possible shelters: schools, hospitals, stores, storage rooms, bathrooms, etc.
- Make sure everyone knows where they will meet after the disaster (in case someone breaks up during the storm);
- Do not try to open the windows of your house. The myth that pressure will equal is just a myth. A powerful tornado will destroy all windows (open or closed) in pieces. That is why it is very important to be in a room without windows.
- Prepare an emergency kit with food, fresh water, medications and everything you may need in that case. Keep the kit in your shelter or in a place where it is easy to reach. Be sure to check supplies regularly and replace those that are perishable.
- Make a list of important information (emergency phone numbers, family phone numbers, anything else you consider important) and give a copy to each member of your family.
- Make sure your emergency kit includes new batteries, a weather radio and maybe a TV that runs on batteries.
Where will you be when the tornado arrives?
Even though very powerful tornadoes that can destroy an entire house and its occupants are quite rare, you must know how to protect yourself according to the building and the place:
- If you stay in the house and there is no basement, try to find additional protection under large and solid furniture. This way you will be protected from any flying debris or other objects. At high speed, even a patio chair can be fatal.
- If you have a basement or a tornado shelter, make sure you arrive on time (with the emergency kit). Close all doors and wait for anger to pass. Watch the news and weather on television or radio to make sure you know when it is safe to leave.
- Stay away from cars and mobile homes. They can be easily absorbed by the whirlpool and thrown miles away. You do not want to be inside when the tornado spits the car.
- If the tornado takes you outside and there is no time to seek refuge, look for the lowest place and lie down, face down, protecting your head with your arms. Wait in this position until the storm passes and try to stay as far away as possible from the trees and other heavy objects that the tornado can snatch and throw on you.
- If you live in an apartment on the upper levels, you should seek refuge in the lower floors. If there’s no time to get there, try to reach the hallway and lie face down.
- If you are in a school, all you have to do is follow the exercise. Public institutions usually have people prepared for all kinds of scenarios.
- If you are in a building office, with large windows or in a skyscraper, look for a windowless area and crouch down and cover your head.
As you can see, the main idea is: wherever you are during a tornado, always stay away from the windows and look for a low, closed place where the wind can not reach you.
Other actions and safety tips for a tornado:
- Do not try to overcome the tornado, even if you are in a fast car. The recommended action here is to leave the car and seek refuge in a depression. If you think leaving the car is more dangerous than staying indoors, park the car, put on your seat belt and lower your head below the window level.
- Large buildings with large rooms and poorly supported ceilings should be avoided. Churches, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and other buildings also have a special area where people can seek refuge.
- Avoid sitting in the corner during a tornado. Always try to sit in the center of the room. The corners attract debris and could be injured if the wind manages to enter the room.
If you have a disability that prevents you from moving fast enough, you must be very careful when planning your escape route. Even so, since tornadoes are fast and sometimes difficult to predict, you may find yourself on your way without any help.
In this case, there are some steps that you should follow according to the condition in which you are:
- If you are in a wheelchair, be sure to get away from the windows and move to the safest room in the house. It has to be small, without windows and a solid door. Try to cover your body and head with anything you can (pillows, blankets, your hands). This way, in case the wind brings debris, you will not hurt yourself too much.
- If you are in bed and can not move at all, try to cover yourself with blankets and pillows. Always make sure your head is protected. If you can, try to cover the bed with something solid like a board.
- If the tornado makes you leave and you can not run away from it, try to lie down and cover your head with both arms.
Tornado warning against tornado
When you live in an area called Tornado Alley (or anywhere else in the world where tornadoes are frequent), you should know the difference between tornado warning and tornado warning:
- A tornado warning It means that there may be a tornado in your area. Now is the best time to review your supplies and gather family members to talk about the tornado plan you organized. Talk to everyone and announce to your neighbors to make sure they receive the news. Make sure everyone knows what to do and where the nearest shelter is.
- A danger of tornado it means that the tornado has already been discovered and is coming. A warning means imminent danger of a tornado and it is time to enter the refuge as quickly as possible. As soon as I hear there is a tornado warning, your plan must turn into action!
Now that you know the difference, between observation and warning, you are better prepared to face the swirling winds.
Make sure you and your family members understand that safety tips for a tornado are not just for boring afternoons when you have nothing else to do.
Although they do not look like much at the beginning, tornadoes can become real monsters in a very short period of time.
Top 8 myths about the tornado
Tornadoes are impressive outbursts of wind, rain, thunderstorms, power and speed. They can be as weak as a normal wind or as destructive as the worst hurricane. That’s why people are fascinated by their behavior.
For centuries, scientists tried to explain these rotating winds and they all tried to arrive with a plausible explanation. As science progressed, so did our knowledge of the weather and its phenomena. Still, there is some information and that is why today, we have the myths of the tornado that we are about to discuss:
- During a tornado you have to open all your windows to equalize the pressure – Well, if the tornado is powerful enough, it may not have the pressure to match. Usually, they start with tearing up the roof and, if this is strong enough, you can get a truck in the living room. Windows usually break first regardless of the fact that they are open or closed.
- A tornado would not hit a big city, they usually go to the rural area.s – If you think a tornado is intimidated by flashy lights and tall buildings, you’re terribly wrong. Cities like Miami, Dallas, Salt Lake City and others have been hit several times. In addition, a tornado can do much more damage in the city, since it has more things to pick up and throw away.
- I’m safe in the mountains, there are no tornadoes here. – As we have already discussed, a tornado will occur where and when ideal conditions are met. Although the mountains do not have as many tornadoes, they also happen here.
- It is believed that tornadoes do not cross rivers. – This myth is a little absurd, what is the tornado afraid of getting your feet wet? Many tornadoes have been recorded that jumped large rivers like the Mississippi and continued their destructive path for miles.
- You are protected by a bridge or a freeway overpass. – This myth actually sounds pretty good. Everyone recommends that you submit to something big, to protect yourself from the storm. Still, a bridge is too big. The wind usually accelerates under a bridge or highway overpass and can pick up the cars that are parked below it. Bridges are not a safe place to be under a tornado.
- A fast car can beat a tornado – This may also seem logical, but remember: tornadoes are the fury of nature. They are fast and can change direction without prior notice.
- Large buildings made of bricks and stones can hold a tornado – Yes, a median. Extremely violent tornadoes can pick up cars and charge them for miles. They are extremely dangerous due to the objects they throw at incredible speed. If a car is thrown against a brick wall, the wall is more likely to fall.
- If a tornado finds you outside, find a deeply buried post and cover yourself with a rope. – Well, this is more like a Final Destination scenario. If the wind is violent, you will not live out of this adventure. You will be cut by the rope and hit by the sure wind.
These myths are important for people who want to learn the precise version of the safety rules for tornadoes. It is important to know that these will not work and why, so that you can explain it to anyone who believes it is true. When your life depends on the safety and rules of the tornado, make sure the source is reliable and accredited. Always talk to the authorities and organizations that cover this type of natural disaster.
The final conclusion regarding safety tips for a tornado is that you should always be prepared. You do not have to live in the Tornado Alley to know what to do in case a funnel appears on the horizon. Remember that tornadoes also occur in the mountains and in large cities protected by rivers. There have been cases of people and fragile objects that were transported by a tornado without suffering injuries or damages, but do not want the safety of your family based on chance, right?