Be Smart. Be Safe: Tornado Awareness & Preparation

March through June is peak tornado season in the United States, and an average of 1,224 tornadoes touch down per year across the country, according to U.S. Tornados.com. While the central part of the country, known as “Tornado Alley,” sees the most tornadoes, it’s important to keep in mind that they can occur anywhere if the conditions are right.

Awareness is the first step in tornado preparation. Tornados may strike with little or no warning, so always being ready is critical in the event of a storm.

7 Tips for Tornado Preparation

1. Enable wireless emergency alerts (WEA messages).
     a. Read more about WEA messages on NOAA.
     b. Many mobile apps such as The Weather Channel offer severe weather alerts.

2. Build an emergency kit.

3. If you are using a portable generator due to a power outage, make sure that everyone understands generator safety. If you are interested in backup power, visit our generator buying guide.

4. Create a communications plan.

5. Understand the danger signs.
     a. Dark, often green sky
     b. Large hail
     c. A large, dark, low-lying cloud
     d. Loud roar, similar to a freight train
     e. Approaching storms

6. Know the difference between a tornado watch and warning
     a. Tornado Watch: Conditions are right for tornadoes.
     b. Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar.

7. Understand your community’s warning system.

For additional tornado facts and resources, visit nws.noaa.gov, ready.gov and redcross.org.

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