As we continue Severe Weather Awareness Week, Wednesday we are focusing on tornadoes and tornado safety.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the bottom of a thunderstorm to the ground.

Tornadoes form when winds above the ground move in two different directions. This is known as wind shear. This wind shear, or a change in wind with height, can cause the air to roll into a horizontal column which turns upward as it continues to spin. This causes a funnel cloud which in turn can cause a tornado to form.

The best way to stay safe from tornadoes is to have a Storm Safe Place prepared and to stay tuned to your area’s weather advisories.

When a tornado becomes a threat, you will often hear the advisories of a tornado watch and a tornado warning. 

A tornado watch means that a tornado is possible, and the conditions are right for a tornado to form. So watch out and get to your Storm Safety Place immediately.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or was indicated by a radar. A tornado warning means that a tornado is happening at that moment. If your area is under a tornado warning, it is crucial to move quickly to your Storm Safety location to keep you and your family safe.

But where should your Storm Safety location be?

You want to get to the lowest level of your home away from any windows and doors, like a basement. 

But, if your home does not have a basement, you want to get you and your family to the most interior room of your home away from any windows and doors.

You should always make sure you have an emergency kit in your Storm Safety Place too for whenever severe weather strikes. Your emergency kit should consist of these very important items:

  • A Flashlight
  • A Battery Operated NOAA Weather Radio
  • Extra Batteries
  • Water
  • Non-Perishable Foods
  • and a Cellphone Charger or an External Battery Pack

It is always best to remain weather aware and always know the advisories in your area. It is also good practice get yourself and your family comfortable with your home’s severe weather plans.

You never know when the next storm is going to strike!