I dreamed last night that I was in a tornado. I grabbed the cat (I don’t have a cat) because I knew the dog would come willingly. My family and friends (I didn’t recognize any of those people) crouched down in the basement area while the tornado went over. I woke up when I realized the cat was no longer in my grasp. Crazy dream, right?!
I think I might be dreaming about tornadoes due to the outbreak of tornadoes this past weekend. March officially begins the tornado season in the south. Based on an AccuWeather.com report, 289 tornadoes were reported in 15 states between April 14 and April 16. Forty-five people were reported killed and dozens of others injured when these storms swept through the Midwestern and Southern states. The AccuWeather.com link also shows where the tornadoes hit and how the weather produced the perfect scenario for tornadoes each of the 3 days.
According to Tornado-Facts.com, more tornadoes occur in the United States than in any other country, and ours are the most powerful as well. Tornadoes can occurred in any state, but the most common ones are the Midwestern states (Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas), and the U.S. can have a thousand tornadoes touch down in a year.
The strength of a tornado cannot be determined before it occurs. Only after the event can data be compiled and damage assessed to determine the severity of the tornado. Tornadoes are ranked on the Fujita – Pearson scale, from an F-0 (light damage) to an F-5 (total damage – the chances of this occurring are less than 0.1%).
So, how do you know when a tornado is headed your way? When the threat of severe weather occurs, tune in to your local news station or NOAA Weather Radio. Information can be provided to you as to where the storm is headed, and if there is a threat of a tornado. Outside, look to see if there are low-lying clouds. Clouds that turn from a whitish-gray to a darker color means dirt and debris is being picked up from the ground. Take cover!
What will you do in the event of a tornado? Do you have a plan for your home? At work?
For more detailed information on how to prepare for a tornado, what to do in the event of a tornado, and what to expect after the tornado, go to http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html.
Suzanne Coleman is a Senior Risk Control Representative with Westfield Insurance. She had been with the company for 6 years, and is based out of the Nashville Tennessee office.
Image Source: tornado-facts.com.