What do you do when a tornado hits? - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

What do you do when a tornado hits?

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. 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. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.

Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

The following are facts about tornadoes:

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.

Be alert to changing weather conditions.

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
  • 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.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

What to do during a tornado:

If you are in a structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building) go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a 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. Do not open windows.

If you are in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If you are outside with no shelter lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.

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.

FEMA Disaster information:  http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/to_during.shtm

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'

    Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'

    Saturday, December 16 2017 3:16 AM EST2017-12-16 08:16:02 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 6:19 AM EST2017-12-17 11:19:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

    Republicans working to execute their first major legislative achievement of Donald Trump's presidency appear to have secured the votes to pass a massive tax overhaul that Trump hoped to present to Americans. 

    Republicans working to execute their first major legislative achievement of Donald Trump's presidency appear to have secured the votes to pass a massive tax overhaul that Trump hoped to present to the American people for Christmas.

  • A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' Experts alarmed

    A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' Experts alarmed

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:49 PM EST2017-12-17 00:49:07 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 6:10 AM EST2017-12-17 11:10:58 GMT

    Health leaders say they are alarmed about reports that officials at the nation's top public health agency are being told not to use certain words in official budget documents, including "fetus," and "transgender.".

    Health leaders say they are alarmed about reports that officials at the nation's top public health agency are being told not to use certain words in official budget documents, including "fetus," and "transgender.".

  • After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races

    After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races

    Saturday, December 16 2017 12:06 PM EST2017-12-16 17:06:09 GMT
    Sunday, December 17 2017 6:10 AM EST2017-12-17 11:10:21 GMT

    Both Democratic and Republican operatives say abortion may take a backseat to other issues in 2018 now that conservative Alabama has elected a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

    Both Democratic and Republican operatives say abortion may take a backseat to other issues in 2018 now that conservative Alabama has elected a Democrat who supports abortion rights.

Powered by Frankly