A tornado is a violent windstorm usually characterized by a twisting, funnel
shaped cloud that is caused by a thunderstorm or a hurricane. It is produced
when a cool air mass meets a warm air mass and forces the warm air mass to
rise over the cool air mass very rapidly. Most of the damage from a tornado
is a result of high wind velocity and wind blown debris. Most tornadoes
occur during the months of March through August, but they can occur during
any time of the year. They also seem to strike in the afternoon to the evening.
What you should do and know
You should know all key terms that are used to describe tornado
1. Tornado Watch- This means that tornadoes are possible and you
should stay tuned to a radio station for more reports.
2. Tornado Warning- A tornado has been sighted and you should
take shelter immediately.
3. Severe Thunderstorm Watch- Severe thunderstorms are possible
and they may bring a tornado.
4. Severe Thunderstorm Warning- A severe thunderstorm is here
and a tornado may be present.
5. You should know the country and terrain in which you live. This is
used in identifying the location of a tornado.
6. You should know the places you can seek shelter such as a cabin or
7. Practice doing this before you head out into the wilderness.
8. You should have emergency supplies on hand such as:
Flashlight with extra batteries
Portable battery operated radio with extra batteries
First aid kit with all supplies and manual
Emergency food and water
Nonelectric can opener
All essential medicines
Sturdy, good shoes
9. Make an inventory of all your possessions and take pictures of them
so if they are lost they you can replace them.
Tornado Danger Signs
Calmness before the tornado hits
Cloud of debris
Calmness and clear skies after the tornado
What to do during a tornado watch
1. Listen to your radio for the latest weather updates.
2. Be alert for an approaching storm so you can get ready and gather
your emergency disaster materials up. If you see a funnel cloud call your
local emergency number to report it if you can.
3. Be ready to take shelter.
What to do during a tornado if you are outside
If possible get inside a building
If there is no shelter nearby or there is no time to get indoors, lie down
in a ditch or a low-lying area with your hands shielding your head. Be
aware of flooding in the low lying area or ditch.
What you should do after the tornado
Help any injured or trapped people
Give first aid if it is necessary and do not move any
seriouly injured victims unless they are in jeopardy of
Call for help
Turn on your radio to get the latest information
Use a telephone if you have one to make any emergency
Did you know this…
Tornadoes can be nearly invisible and only marked by swirling debris at
the base of the funnel.
On average the U.S. experiences about 100,000 thunderstorms a year and
out of those about 1,000 tornadoes develop.
Although tornadoes can occur throughout the world the U.S. has the most
and most devastating ones.
Tornadoes produce the most violent winds in the world. Tornado winds
can be as high as 300 miles per hour, travel distances over 100 miles and
reach heights of over 60,000 feet above the ground.
In 1988 121 tornadoes struck 15 south central states. This resulted in 14
deaths and damages reaching $108 million.
The following resources were used to do this project
Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA)
Miami Institute of Hurricanes
Funk and Wagnalls New Encylopedia
American Red Cross