What Is A Tornado?
According to the Glossary of Meteorology (AMS 2000), a tornado is a violently rotating column of air, pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a funnel cloud. Tornadoes are spawned from severe thunderstorms with winds that reach up to 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornadoes are a direct threat to life and property.
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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