Tornado Season is Here! Are You Prepared?

March is traditionally the start of tornado season in the United States. Although tornadoes can strike at any time of year, the peak season for tornadoes is mid March through early July, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
An average of 1,200 twisters touch down in the US each year, most between March and July.  Each year in the US tornadoes are responsible for about 70 deaths and 1500 injuries.  With a little preparation, you can protect you and your family from these devastating storms.

Do you live in Tornado Alley? Tornado Alley is defined as the area of the Central Plains from Texas to Nebraska. This is where most tornadoes form each season. Most of the damage that tornadoes inflict each year occurs in Tornado Alley and Texas has the highest number of tornadoes, with an average of 124 each year.

Here are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross to keep you safe this Tornado Season.

Preparing for a Tornado

  • During any storm, listen to local news or an NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
  • Know your community’s warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
  • Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site.
  • Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

Know the Signs – Tornado Danger Signs

  • Dark, often greenish clouds – a phenomenon caused by hail
  • Wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
  • Cloud of debris
  • Large hail
  • Funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
  • Roaring noise