Tornados are one of the most dangerous and unpredictable weather events and can materialize in a matter of minutes, and having an above ground tornado shelter or above ground steel storm shelter can be the difference between life and death. Within Tornado Alley it can be even more dangerous to be without an above ground tornado shelter because of the relatively flat region allowing cold Canadian air to meet warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. This of course makes tornadoes more likely and more violent. Familiarize yourself with the information below and be aware of your environment during times of potential severe weather, and contact us at Safe-T-Shelter or stormshelter.com if we can help you protect your family ahead of the next unpredictable storm.
HOW TO SPOT AN APPROACHING STORM
Many tornadoes strike rapidly, without time for a tornado warning, and sometimes without a thunderstorm in the vicinity. This "storm without warning" is what makes tornadoes more damaging and more dangerous than any other storm. When you are watching for quickly emerging tornadoes, it is important to know that you should not try to depend on seeing a funnel: clouds, rain. buildings, or the topography of your region may block your view. The following descriptions of general weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
*Dark or green-colored sky
*Large, dark, low-lying cloud
*A loud roar that sounds like a freight train
If these weather conditions appear, take cover immediately, and keep tuned to local radio and TV stations or to a NOAA weather radio. And if you have a storm shelter, use it. Don't wait until the last minute to enter your steel tornado shelter, get your family and pets to safety before it is too late.
LEARN THE TERMINOLOGY
The following information is from the National Weather Service about what you should do in the event of a tornado. Read this information before any severe weather or tornado activity. This provides common information and preparation information that will help you respond if you experience weather event. Make sure you understand the definitions for Tornado Watch and Tornado Warnings.
WHAT IS A TORNADO WATCH? A Tornado watch means that there is potential for a tornado over the next few hours, it does not mean that a tornado has been spotted. Conditions are favorable for a tornado during a tornado watch, and you should be prepared to take shelter, preferably in a storm shelter from Safe-T-Shelter, if a tornado materializes. Do not wait until the last minute, have your plan in place, and stay tuned to your local TV, radio, and/or listen to your NOAA weather radio. Know where your safe area is in buildings that you often frequent. Refer to building signs, local TV, radio, and building signage monitors. Listen for building weather radios, siren, social media, as well as other alert information and alarms. Turn on and set the alarm switch on your weather radio, make sure you have ready access to safety shelter and follow police and safety directions.
WHAT IS A TORNADO WARNING?
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted, or that Doppler radar indicates a thunderstorm circulation which can spawn a tornado. When a tornado warning is issued for the your area, take immediate safety precautions. The local NWS offices will be the agency to issue tornado warnings.
It is important to remember that with any severe weather event, tornado, or hurricane normal communications can be disrupted, so having multiple forms of communication, and multiple ways to be alerted of potential storms is ideal. Business and personal cellular phone service can be greatly impacted by the weather as well as damage to regional cell towers and equipment. Even in ideal conditions telephone use will dramatically increase for both home and cellular service carriers that may cause severe communication system loads for all carriers and limit cell phone use.
KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Make sure you understand and know where severe weather safe places are in your area, that can be local buildings or community storm shelters. Especially if you are in Tornado Alley, but no matter where you are, this is a simple precaution to take and could save your life.
DURING A TORNADO
If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head. If available, put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect yourself from head injuries. Wait out the storm in your safe space or tornado shelter until the threat has passed.
IF YOU ARE IN A BUILDING / STRUCTURE
Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a building safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an 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 if a safer place does not exist.
IN A MULTI STORY BUILDING
Go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. If available, put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect yourself from head injuries. Put on sturdy shoes. Do not open windows.
If you are in any portable building, mobile home, or trailer.
Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a community storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
If you are outside with no access to any other shelter 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. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
The best protection from a tornado is proper planning, and when possible, the best plan is a tornado shelter in your home, where most of your time is likely spent. An above ground storm shelter is more affordable than ever, safer than ever, and add value to your home while making it more desirable when you sell it. Grants are often available to help with the cost, and financing is typically offered through a low interest provider like a local credit union.
If you are interested in learning more about the cost and benefits of a storm shelter, please do not wait until after the next catastrophic storm, contact us at Safe-T-Shelter TODAY to get an all-inclusive quote on a safe room, above ground steel storm shelter, or above ground tornado shelter to protect your family! We have over 22 years experience protecting entire towns, Fortune 500 companies, and residential clients all across Tornado Alley. If you are searching for tornado shelters Alabama, storm shelters Tennessee, safe rooms Mississippi, or anywhere else for any other steel storm shelter need, we are the best and ONLY choice to give you direct to consumer, patented, top-of-the-line protection.