Depending on where in the country you live, a tornado may be a very real threat. We still don’t know everything about how tornadoes are created, but we do understand the basics.
It starts with a supercell thunderstorm. What separates a supercell from a regular thunderstorm is that a supercell has winds that are much more capable of switching direction and growing in strength.
Eventually, these winds can form a cyclone, and that’s what leads to a tornado.
But what do you do if a tornado hits your town? Do you know how to prepare for a tornado? If you don’t, you shouldn’t worry.
We’ll give you some advice in the paragraphs below.
1. Stay Alert
The best way to survive a tornado is to know what to look for. Check your weather station, or look up weather conditions online.
There are two types of alerts you may want to look out for. The first is called a tornado watch. A watch simply means that the current weather could form a tornado.
Keep in mind, that this is just a precaution. The vast majority of tornado watches don’t come to anything. Rare is the storm that actually spawns a tornado.
The second type of alert you’ll need to know about is a tornado warning. A tornado warning means that a tornado has touched down somewhere.
Tornado warnings don’t necessarily mean you’re going to get hit by a tornado, either. It means there’s one in your general vicinity. It could be several counties or even half a state away, but it’s out there, and it may be headed towards you.
The third is signal is a tornado siren. This is about as close to a red alert as you can get. This means that a tornado is getting close to your town if it isn’t already there.
This brings us to our second step. A tornado warning has been issued, the sirens are going off, and you might just get hit by a tornado.
Now, it’s time to seek shelter. The ideal conditions for a shelter is an area low to the ground that doesn’t have windows. In most houses, this is the basement.
Avoiding windows makes you much less likely to get hit by dangerous debris. The school of thought behind lower ground is that wind is believed by some to be stronger at higher elevations.
Some believe that tornadoes do less damage at lower elevations and avoid some low grounds completely.
3. Safe Rooms
Some people have entire rooms dedicated to hiding out in during a tornado. In most cases, these come in the form of cellars.
If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, or one of the numerous parodies it spawned, you’re familiar with the idea.
Keep in mind that you don’t need a safe room. If you have the money, you’re more than welcome to build one, but most homes should have a room that provides adequate protection.
If you do have or want to get, a safe room, may we suggest these doors for safety?
Don’t be too concerned about what to bring into the safe room with you. A few things are recommended, but if you don’t have them, it’s not worth risking your safety.
One of the first things to bring is something that is capable of telling you the news. You’ll need to be able to know when the tornado stops, and it’s safe to leave.
By this same note, some sort of clock is also recommended. Most tornadoes don’t even last an hour, but our minds tend to distort time when we don’t have anything to measure it with.
You may also need some sort of flashlight or lantern. With twisting winds at work in the neighborhood, there’s a pretty good chance the power will go out.
If you can, take along food, water, a first aid kit, and any useful phone numbers or addresses in case you need to contact someone or vice versa.
If you can, get a helmet, a pillow, or something else that might help stop debris.
5. What NOT to do
Unfortunately, tornadoes don’t run on our schedules, so they may end up striking at a very inconvenient time, like when we’re far from home and don’t know where to find shelter.
Your best options for this may vary on a case-by-case basis, so we can’t tell you exactly how to prepare for a tornado, but we can tell you about what you should never do in a tornado.
One of them is to not stay in an RV or trailer. You’ve probably heard some joke by now about tornadoes carrying away people’s trailers.
Unfortunately, that can very easily happen. Stay away from trailers. Go to a non-mobile building and try to find the safest spot there.
If you’re in a vehicle, your best option is to find a building. If you can’t find a building, find a ditch or duck down in your car. Don’t keep driving and don’t hide under the car.
Also, whether you’re in a car or a house, don’t open the windows.
How to Prepare for a Tornado
When deciding how to prepare for a tornado, the biggest thing to consider is what’s likely to be hit or broken by a tornado. Glass isn’t a strong enough substance to withstand gale-force winds, so try to avoid windows.
The best place is in a small room, low to the ground, with enough supplies to know when the storm is over and make sure you’re protected in the meantime.
If you want more advice on beauty, lifestyle, health, or other topics, please visit our site.