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Important Tornado Safety Tips for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is here and it’s beautiful, but we also know that springtime weather can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s a good idea to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

As a general rule, April and May have traditionally had the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States. Read on as we share some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

How Tornadoes Can Form

There are roughly 1,200 tornadoes that strike in the United States every year, and they are caused by thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado happens when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

In the beginning of a tornado’s life, the signature funnel cloud is transparent and not visible, but it becomes visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.

A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster tornadoes have been observed. Hail and intense winds of more than 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime later in the afternoon when the atmosphere is most likely to be unstable, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

What You Should Do if There’s a Tornado

Understand the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. Tornado watches are issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while warnings are issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If you are in the path of a warned tornado, it is imperative that you take action and find safe shelter immediately.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Keep flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries handy in your selected tornado shelter at home.

If you are caught in a tornado while driving, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

Tornadoes can create absolute havoc on the areas they touch down in. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Madison/Goodlettsville is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

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