What Is A Tornado?
A tornado is a violent
windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud. It
is spawned by a thunderstorm (or sometimes as a result of a
hurricane) and produced when cool air overrides a layer of warm
air, forcing the warm air to rise rapidly. The damage from a
tornado is a result of the high wind velocity and wind-blown
debris. Tornado season is generally March through August,
although tornadoes can occur at any time of year. They tend to
occur in the afternoons and evenings: over 80 percent of all
tornadoes strike between noon and midnight.
When a tornado threatens,
individuals need to have a safe place to go and time to get
there. Even with advances in meteorology, warning times may be
short or sometimes not possible. Lives are saved when
individuals receive and understand the warning, know what to do,
and know the safest place to go.
What To Do
If you receive a tornado warning, protect yourself and your
family; seek shelter immediately.
Go to the
basement or storm shelter, or go to rooms nearest the center
of the house.
In high-rises or other public buildings:
Move to the
interior (preferably a stairwell or hallway).
In your car:
out and lie flat in a low area.
In an open field:
down in a low area (a ditch or ravine if there is one nearby
*be aware that this might be a danger in areas prone
to flash floods).
head with your arms.
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