Staying Safe During a Tornado | SERVPRO® of East Brownsville & South Padre Island Storm Team.
Spring weather can often be unpredictable, so it always a good idea to be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.
Historically, April and May have 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. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.
Approximately 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year, and they are usually the result of severe 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.
The tornado’s signature funnel cloud will first be transparent, but it will become visible when it picks up water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or dust and debris.
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 more than 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.
Make sure to understand the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. When a watch is issued, the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, whereas a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
Please, if you find yourself in the path of a tornado when a warning has been issued for your area, take action and find a safe shelter.
- 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 store flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home.
When driving, DO NOT try to outrun a tornado. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, utilize furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets for additional protection for your head and neck covered whenever possible.
Tornadoes can wreak 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 East Brownsville & South Padre Island storm team is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.