Are there any common misconceptions about tornadoes?
Do not open a window to try to “equalize the pressure.” Doing so may actually pressurize the house and can cause the roof to be torn off. Also, underst and that tornadoes are not always visible from a distance; rely on a weather radio as an information resource. Although tornadoes are usually spawned by thunderstorms, they have been known to occur without lightning. They can cross a river or another body of water. Finally, tornadoes are not confined to “tornado alley.” Tornadoes can occur anywhere, at any time.
What if I am in a car and I learn a tornado is approaching?
Immediately seek shelter in a sturdy building. If that isn’t possible, you have two options. Stay in the car with the seat belt on, putting your head down below the windows and covering it with your h ands and a blanket if you have one, Or, if you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your h ands. Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.
What should I do if I learn a tornado is approaching?
If you are in a house, go to the lowest level such as a basement or storm cellar. If there is no basement, go to an interior room such as a closet, hallway or bathroom. Try to cover your head with a blanket or jacket to guard against flying debris or broken glass. If you are in a mobile home, you should leave immediately and seek shelter elsewhere. If you are outside and cannot get to shelter, crouch beside a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and try to cover your head and neck. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can.
What are the signs of a tornado?
There are many signs for tornadoes, some indicators may be:
- A strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base and/or whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base.
- Hail or heavy rain possibly followed by either a dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift.
- A loud, continuous roar or rumble that does not fade in a few seconds like thunder