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Tornado Season Safety Tips

Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial est...

As the nation enters into another tornado season, it’s important to be prepared in the event you face one of these devastating storms. Every year there are many severe thunderstorms and tornadoes reported, with a handful leading to deaths and millions of dollars worth of destruction.

One of the most recent, and most deadly storms, was the EF5 tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011. At a mile wide this storm took over 150 lives, injured 1,100, and cost $2.8 Billion in damages.

There’s no way we can prevent the storms from happening, or controlling where they go, but education about the storms and how to protect homes and families goes a long way.

Know Your Location

Southern states experience the most tornado activity from late March to early May. The Southern Plains typically gets the storms from May to the early part of June. Gulf coast residents should be aware of storm possibility for the entire season. In the later part of the spring through June and July, the Northern states and upper Midwest should expect activity. Throughout the season of late winter to early summer, tornado season tends to move from south to north.

Tornado & Dixie Alley

This is an area of the United States where an extraordinary amount of tornado outbreak has happened over the years. It ranges from Texas straight north to Nebraska.

Dixie Alley is another area with a lot of tornados reported. This area contains the western portions of Tennessee and Kentucky, and the northern parts of Mississippi and Alabama.

Weather Watch & Warning

When the weather alerts start flashing warnings across the TV it’s critical to know which one is in effect in your area. A “tornado watch” simply means that conditions are right for a severe storm or tornado to form, and to stay on the watch. “Tornado warning” means that storms or tornadoes have been spotted or detected and to take cover.

Home Security

Measures can be taken before a storm to keep a home safe, so it can best protect your family. Look into storm tested doors, window and shutter options, and home security systems with storm alert capabilities. Make sure that your insurance policy is in good order, and have your home checked to be sure that it’s structurally sound.

Other Preparations

Have a safety plan for the members of your family to follow. Prepare and emergency kit that consists of a flashlight, battery powered radio, nonperishable snacks and bottled water. Keep the yard clear of any large objects that aren’t tied down. Know how to turn off the gas, electric, and water.

During a Storm

When it’s time to take shelter, gather everyone in your home in the innermost closet, bathroom, or hallway. In the bathroom have blankets, coats or a mattress to protect from flying debris. Keep the battery powered radio close by, and remain in your secure shelter until the storm has clearly passed.

About the Author: Michelle is a blog writer for a Dallas based home security company. She loves writing about DIY projects, green living, and family safety.

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