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Tornado Safety

Tornado Safety

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Tips on tornado safety
Tips on tornado safety

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Published by: Catholic Charities USA on Jul 03, 2014
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Tornado Safety Pre-Event
o
 
They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
o
 
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
 
Look for the following danger signs:
 
Dark, often greenish sky
 
Large hail
 
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
 
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
o
 
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
o
 
They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
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The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
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The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
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Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
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Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
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Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months
o
 
According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), tornadoes have been documented in every state of the United States, and on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica (even there, a tornado occurrence is not impossible).
o
 
Some parts of the world are much more prone to tornadoes than others. In terms of absolute tornado counts, the United States leads the list, with an average of over 1,000 tornadoes recorded each year. Canada is a distant second, with around 100 per year.
o
 
“Tornado Alley” is a nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central
 United States that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year. 
Just-In Time 
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If you are in a structure when a tornado is imminent:
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Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
o
 
If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
o
 
Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
o
 
Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
o
 
Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
Recovery
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Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts,

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