The time of year has come again, when tornadoes begin to appear more frequently. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, there were 1,692 tornadoes in the U.S. in 2013, with 758 of them touching down in the month of April. Due to this statistic, it is very important to be prepared for these tornados so that you know what to do in a dangerous situation.
There are many steps you can take to prepare your family beforehand. For example, if you live in tornado-prone areas, you should designate a tornado shelter (like the basement) in the event of a tornado. Wherever it is, the shelter should be well known by each member of the family. It is also a good idea to plan ahead by creating an emergency plan that everyone is familiar with and an emergency kit that is located in an area that is easily accessible.
Signs that may symbolize a tornado coming, include dark, often greenish sky, large hail, a large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating), and a loud roar, similar to a freight train. If you see any of these signs, it is important to take cover. The best place to hide is a basement, away from the west and south walls. Also, hiding under a heavy work-table or under stairs will protect you from crumbling walls, chimneys, and large airborne debris falling into the cellar.
Taking all of these precautions is sure to help you to not only be prepared for a tornado but also to make logical decisions to help keep you safe.