10 Things Amarilloans Need To Know For Tornado Season
Tornado season is here and by the look of things it seems to be one of the worst seasons in quite a while. Are you prepared? Here are a few things you need to know to stay safe this tornado season.
After seeing 50 tornadoes in less than a week, including a massive one in Oklahoma, I began to freak out. What would I do if Amarillo was hit by a tornado? What if me and my son were not together, would I have enough time to go and be with him? So, I decided to do a little research on how to prepare for a tornado.
Tornadoes are unpredictable. They could be massive or small. The best thing to do is be prepared for the worst. Here is a list of things that could help you out this tornado season.
1. Tornadoes can happen at any time
Tornadoes do not have a certain time to hit, it can happen day or night. They don't care if you are sleeping.
2. Know the signs
A sickly greenish or greenish black color to the sky can indicate a storm capable of producing a tornado. If there is a watch, then hail could be a bad sign. A strange calmness might occur within or shortly after the thunderstorm. Clouds moving by very fast, especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area of the sky. A sound a little like a waterfall or rushing air at first, but turning into a roar as it comes closer. The sound of a tornado has been likened to that of both railroad trains and jets. Debris dropping from the sky.
3. Find a Shelter
The best place to be during a tornado is underground or in an overground tornado shelter. If your home doesn't have a basement, cellar or above ground shelter, find someone who does. This is the safest place to be.
4. Have an immediate plan
There may not be enough time to find a shelter. The next best thing would be to be on the lowest level of your house. The bathroom is a good place and inside the bathtub is even better. If you have time, grab a mattress and throw it on top of you. Bathtub are usually the last thing standing in a home.
5. Get Out of Mobile Homes
Mobile homes, even those anchored down, are horrible places to be during a tornado. It doesn't take much force to damage a mobile home or even toss it around, so get out of it!
6. Avoid Overpasses
We've all seen the movies where people run under the overpass to shelter themselves from tornadoes. Umm nope! This is a horrible idea. The overpass creates a Venturi Effect, which basically means that the wind is stronger and debris is flying harder. Plus, this increases your chances of being sucked out into the tornado.
7. Get a NOAA Weather Radio
This is a low cost investment that can save your life. You can preset them to automatically turn on when severe weather is approaching.
8. Get a Whistle
You are probably thinking what on earth. But if you have a police or referee whistle, it could save your life. Imagine being trapped under lots of debris or even a demolished house. Your screams could be useless. If you have a whistle, emergency responders would be able to locate you more quickly.
9. Get an emergency bag prepared
It is always a smart idea to have an emergency bag prepared. If you have a basement or storm shelter, you should leave it in there. If not keep the bag close by during severe weather. Here are a few items you should include:
A Flashlight or glow sticks-no candles they might catch fire
Batteries-this will help with flashlights and radio
Clean clothes-especially socks and shoes
5-10 gallons of water
Non-perishable foods-individually wrapped foods and things that don't need to be heated like tuna snack packs or peanut butter crackers.
10. Just have a plan!
You know your family's routine best. Does Susie have practice tonight? Does Bobby sleep upstairs? Make sure each one of the members of your family knows what to do in case of a tornado. Take shelter and be safe.
Remember, the weather men will be on top of it and will send out a warning as soon as possible, but sometimes it happens instantly. Be prepared!