... Continuing fall severe weather awareness week for the arklatex...
Today's topic is tornadoes and tornado safety...
Tornadoes are one of natures most violent storms. In an average
year... about 1000 tornadoes are reported across the United States...
resulting in 85 deaths and over 1500 injuries. A tornado is a
violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to
the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous
destruction... with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can
exceed a mile in width and 50 miles in length.
Tornadoes can occur anywhere in your state... and at any time of the
year. However... peak tornado season is during the months of March
through June... with nearly 70 percent of all tornadoes occurring
during this time period. April is the single most active tornado
producing month in our region.
Tornadoes can travel at over 50 mph... and can destroy a building in
a few seconds. Therefore... it is important to know the safety rules
for surviving a tornado.
When inside homes and small buildings... you should go to the
basement or the lowest level of the building. If no basement is
available... go to a closet... bathroom... or an interior hallway away
from any windows. Protect yourself from flying debris with thick
blankets... pillows... cushions... sleeping bags or mattresses.
When at schools... hospitals... factories or shopping malls... go to
the designated shelter areas... usually an interior hallway on the
lowest floor level. Always stay away from windows. Kneel on the
floor against the wall and place hands over your head to provide
some protection for your head.
When in Mobile homes or portable buildings... leave these structures
and go inside a strong building for shelter. If there is no shelter
nearby... get into the nearest ditch or depression. Lie flat with
your hands shielding your head.
When in a vehicle... buckle your seat belt and try to drive away from
the tornado or to the closest sturdy shelter. If there is no shelter
nearby... you have the following options:
1.) Stay in the car with your seat belt on... putting your head below
windows... and covering your head with your hands or blankets if
2.) Exit the car and get into a ditch or low lying area.
Planning ahead and knowing the safety rules is essential in being
prepared when a tornado strikes.
The National Weather Service would like to thank everyone involved
in making severe weather awareness week a Success.
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