Tornadoes can strike suddenly – with little to no warning in some cases and only minutes to take shelter. During these few crucial moments, they have the ability to destroy homes and devastate communities. We’ve covered everything you need to know about tornado safety – from warning signs and shelter tips to talking with your kids. So, when a tornado strikes, you’ll be prepared.
Tornado season usually happens from early spring until early summer, but they can happen at any time. There are a few signs to let you know a tornado is near. They all might not appear together before the tornado hits. Here are a few warnings to watch out for:
Dark wall clouds – most come with dust or debris
Strong wind gusts – some look like funnels, but don’t have to
You should also pay close attention to weather alerts from your local news or radio station. You may also get a smartphone alert for your area. Many report both tornado watches and warnings. Here’s the difference:
Watch: The weather conditions lean towards a possible tornado. Keep a close eye out.
Warning: There’s been a tornado nearby that could be heading your way. Listen closely and be prepared to seek shelter at any moment.
If you notice signs that a tornado is coming, don’t wait to seek shelter right away. Tornadoes can land in a matter of seconds. Don’t spend time closing windows and doors, or wrapping up plans. Find a safe place and wait until it’s over.
Here are a few possible places to hide safely during a tornado. Keep in mind your home’s structure – some of these places might not be deemed safe. Remember to avoid rooms with windows and stay away from doors if possible.