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Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

April and May mean that we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Tornado Safety Tips You Should Know | SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog

Springtime weather, while beautiful, can often be unpredictable, so it is good to always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

April and May traditionally hold the title for having the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means that right now, we are in the height of tornado season throughout the entire United States.

Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

What Can Cause a Tornado

There are approximately 1,200 tornado events in the U.S. each year, and they are develop in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado will form 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.

Upon formation of a tornado, the signature funnel cloud will be clear and transparent, but it will become more 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 have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

The time of day that tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime is later in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

Tornado Safety Tips

Familiarize yourself with the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch can be issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is only issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

Watches mean to keep an eye out for changing conditions, but if a warning has been issued for your area, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

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.

You should make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home. Also, when at home, you can provide additional protection by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Find safe shelter, if possible, or get out of your vehicle and lay flat on low-lying ground, covering your head and neck.

Tornadoes are unpredictable and devastating wherever they strike. 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 Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

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