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Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms.

Every state is at risk for some type of tornado.

A tornado appears as a rotating funnel shaped cloud which extends 

from a thunderstorm and lands on the ground. 

They generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm.

Tornadoes are unpredictable. 

They can devastate a neighborhood or a whole town in seconds. 

Tornadoes have whirling winds that have been clocked up to 300 miles an hour. 

The damage path of a big tornado can reach in excess of a mile wide 

and can continue for on for fifty miles.

Some tornadoes can be visible, while others are cloaked by heavy rains or low cloud cover. 

Some develop so quickly there is virtually no warning.

Before a tornado hits, the winds from the thunderstorm may die down. 

The air is said to be very still. 

Often times a tornadoes location can be identified by a cloud of debris, 

even though the funnel portion may not be seen.

Terms that will help identify tornado hazards:

A Waterspout is a tornado which occurs over water.

Tornado Watch:

Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms.

Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, 

or television for information.

Tornado Warning:

A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

Take shelter immediately.

(Many people cannot remember the difference between a Watch and a Warning. 

Try using the following to help you.

A Warning is Happening. Both end in "ing".

A Watch is something you cannot see, so you have to Watch for it:

Wait and Watch to see if it happens.)

Before a Tornado

♦ Be aware of changing weather conditions.

♦ Listen to the news for weather updates.

♦ Watch for approaching storms.

♦ Watch for changes in the sky and the following danger signs.

- Large, dark, low clouds, especially if they are rotating

- A dark greenish color in the sky

- Large hail

- Loud roars which are said to sound like a freight train

During a Tornado

If there is a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!

If you are inside your home:

♦ Go to the safe place on which you decided in your Disaster Family Plan. 

This could be your storm cellar or basement. 

If you do not have either of these, find the innermost room on the lowest level 

in your home with as few windows as possible. 

This may be an interior hallway or a large closet. 

Crouch down on the floor, put your head between your knees 

and protect your head with your hands and arms.

If you are in a building other than your home:

♦ Find the innermost area with the fewest windows, 

get down on the floor and protect your head.

If you are in a vehicle, a mobile home or a trailer:

♦ Get out and go to the nearest storm shelter or sturdy building.

Even if mobile homes and trailers are tied down, 

they offer little protection from the high winds of a tornado.

If you are outside with no shelter in sight:

♦ Watch for flying debris, which it what causes the most fatalities and injuries.

♦ Lie down in a nearby ditch, or the lowest spot available, with your hands protecting your head.

♦ Be aware that flash flooding is possible.

If you are in a vehicle outside with no shelter in sight:

You cannot outrun a tornado!

♦ Get out of the car and lie down in a ditch or the lowest place you can find, 

with your hands protecting your head.

♦ Be aware that flash flooding is possible.

♦ Do not take shelter under a bridge or overpass. 

These areas create wind tunnels, intensifying wind speed, and the possibility of injury or death.

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