These images show: a tornado, a radar image of a tornado, places where it is dangerous to be during a tornado, and a weather radio.
Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), National Weather Service Forecast Office of Paducah, Kentucky, Alicia Pearce, Vanessa Pearce
The best way to protect you and your family from being injured or killed from a tornado comes from being prepared and knowing what to do. Families can prepare for a storm before it arrives.
The first step is to create a plan for when people are at home, work, school, and outdoors. Most shopping malls, sports arenas, office buildings, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and mobile home communities have a tornado safety plan in place. Next, practice your plan. Listen to the forecasts so you can be ready if there is a possible threat of bad weather.
If you are in a home or a building when a tornado warning is issued, move to a basement or similar shelter. It is helpful to get under a heavy workbench, sturdy table, or staircase for extra protection. Sleeping bags and mattresses can provide good protection, especially when there is no access to the previously mentioned items.
When a basement or similar shelter isn’t available, go to a hallway or room in the center of the building (bathroom or closet) and get under a stable piece of furniture or a staircase. Stay away from windows. Make sure everyone is covered with a blanket or a mattress to be protected from debris, and crouch on floor as low as possible, facing down, covering your head. Automobiles and mobile homes are unsafe places to be during a tornado. If you are outside or in a vehicle, then go to a nearby ditch or depression and lie flat. This should be done if no sturdy buildings can be found in the area nearby. Do not take shelter under bridges.
Make sure to be on the lookout for any bad weather in the area. Tune into local television stations and your NOAA radio for the most up to date information about tornadoes in your area.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Rainbows appear in the sky when there is bright sunlight and rain. Sunlight is known as visible or white light and is actually a mixture of colors. Rainbows result from the refraction and reflection of...more
The Earth travels around the sun one full time per year. During this year, the seasons change depending on the amount of sunlight reaching the surface and the Earth's tilt as it revolves around the sun....more
Scientists sometimes travel in specially outfitted airplanes in order to gather data about atmospheric conditions. These research aircraft have special inlet ports that bring air from the outside into...more
An anemometer is a weather instrument used to measure the wind (it can also be called a wind gauge). Anemometers can measure wind speed, wind direction, and other information like the largest gust of wind...more
Thermometers measure temperature. "Thermo" means heat and "meter" means to measure. You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature of many things, including the temperature of...more
Weather balloons are used to carry weather instruments that measure temperature, pressure, humidity, and winds in the atmosphere. The balloons are made of rubber and weigh up to one kilogram (2.2 pounds)....more
Wind is moving air. Warm air rises, and cool air comes in to take its place. This movement creates different pressures in the atmosphere which creates the winds around the globe. Since the Earth spins,...more