Tornados can occur at any time of the year and most often strike between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.. In the southern states, peak tornado season is March through May. In the northern states, peak tornado season is June through August.
A tornado's path of destruction can be more than one mile wide and 50 miles long and can devastate a neighborhood in seconds. You may have little warning, so preparation and planning are key to reducing injuries. It's important to know what to do before, during, and after a tornado.
BEFORE Know a safe place:
--Know the safe places at home, work, and at school. Locate local shelters and be aware of the tornado risk in your county or parish.
--Practice tornado drills at home and school.
--Have a plan for how family members will contact one another during an emergency. Establish an out-of-area contact (such as a relative or family friend) who can coordinate family member's locations and information should you become seperated. Make sure children learn the phone numbers and addresses, and know the emergency plans.
--Prepare a family disaster supplies kit. Families with children should have each child create their own personal pack.
DURING a tornado watch:
--Remain inside, away from windows and doors.
--Listen to the radio or T.V. Keep a battery-operated radio on a NOAA Weather Radio.
--Make sure your family disaster supplies kit is complete.
--Be alert during a thunderstorm watch.
Severe thunderstorms can produce tornados. Being prepared will give you more time should the weather turn severe. During a tornado warning: Listen to the radio or T.V. for weather updates and instructions from local officials. Quick action and planning ahead can save your life! If you get caught in a tornado, know what to do: take shelter immediately; stay away from windows, corners, doors and outside walls, be aware of flying debris. Crouch on the floor near an interior wall and under a heavy object, such as a table. Bend over and place your arms on the back of your head and neck (which are injured more easily than other parts of your body).
--Continue to listen to the news and weather updates.
--Stay away from power lines and broken glass.
--Be aware of the possibility of broken gas lines and chemical spills. If you smell gas or chemical fumes, immediately evacuate the area and contact authorities.
--Stay out of damaged buildings and return home only after authorities have issued an all-clear signal.
All information was referenced through the NFPA Public Education Division if you would like to view their site go to www.nfpa.org/education or click above on department, fire department, useful links, and then National Fire Protection Agency.