Tornadoes and losses are increasing. Most mobile home parks do not have storm shelters, the requirements don’t exist. The tornado Shelters Act helps mobile home parks to build them provided they meet certain criteria. Safe shelters seem to elude most home owners and renters in the south.
Tornadoes have been documented in every state and in every continent, there is no one area that is more prone to getting one than another. There is such a thing as being prepared and that kind of health safety goes back to the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” when we see Dorothy’s aunt and uncle heading for the home safe shelter in the midst of a tornado. In the United States an average of 1,275 tornadoes are recorded each year.
Ideal for supercell storms. Tornado Alley-central Texas to western Ohio, is the name given to the southern plains where tornadoes like to frequent and Dixie Alley, stems from Florida up into the southern plains alley. 75-percent of the super cell storms and tornadoes that occur are weak.
Globally, the middle lattitudes between 30-50 degrees is prone to this type of weather
Prevention and practice are the key to safety. Know ahead of time where you and your family members, co-workers or students can go in case of a storm emergency. Have a predetermined place to go immediately, and have a place to meet afterwards. If you frequent stores, it’s a good idea to have these areas checked out.
Flying debris is the biggest danger
Opening the windows to equalize the pressure is an “old school” way of doing things these days. The tornado will blast the windows out if the pressure is that dense in the first place. No amount of opening the windows will help you. Tornadoes are also enveloped in heavy precipitation and hard to see in most cases. You do need to stay away from the windows.
How to detect tornadoes
1. Strong persistent cloud roation.
2. Whirling debris on the ground under a low cloud base, some tornadoes have no funnel.
3. Hail or heavy cloud burst followed by calm or intense wind shift.
4. Evening or at night, blue-green to white flashes of light low to the ground. An indication power lines are being ripped out by a strong wind or tornado. Persistent lowering of the cloud base lighted by lightening.
What to do
- You should go to a lower level or basement, or interior room. Look for permanent structure to add to your safety, not a piano, fridge or heavy object that could fall on you and crush you. A mattress or thick padding is a good idea.
- If you are in a mobile home, get out. Even if it is tied down it is not a safe place to be. An underground shelter or a permanent building is the safest place to be.
- The same goes if you are caught in a vehicle. You may be able to drive at right angles to out run it if traffic is clear and you are far enough away. If you are stuck in traffic, stay in the car and put your seat belt on and get your head down below the windows. If you can park the car and head to the nearest permanent structure this is advisable. If you are in your car and can get out of the vehicle and get visibly lower than the ground. Park the car and do it. Bridges and underpasses are not a safe area to go to. Get down and put your hands over your head.
- If you are out in the open: lay face-down on the ground and cover your head.
- If you are in church, crouch down under the pews.
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