It’s official: it’s Spring and it’s tornado season which means the Southern part of the United States can expect to get hit hard with wild and very violent thunderstorms and of course, tornadoes. In fact, Louisiana and Mississippi were hit pretty hard this week with Georgia under a tornado watch the night of Easter.
Not only are tornadoes unpredictable but they often strike again in the same spot and can wreak havoc and danger for Florida homeowners. While you can’t stop a storm or a tornado you can certainly take steps to help protect yourself and your family from the wrath of tornadoes.
Watch Versus Warning:
A tornado WATCH is issued when the weather conditions are right or are possible for a tornado to form. A tornado WARNING means that weather radar has picked up tornadic activity or a funnel cloud has been reported. While a warning is certainly more serious, the time to pay close attention and take safety precautions is when a watch has been issued.
In the event you hear tornado sirens or the local news stations sound the alarm, don’t wait. Immediately seek shelter no matter where you are making sure to avoid windows. Choose a room that is on the lowest floor of your Florida home, business or any location where you find yourself at that moment.
Additionally, an inside room such as a coat closet or a bathroom is the best place to ride out the storm. If you happen to live in a mobile home (which a lot of Florida homeowners do) it’s advised that if you can, find a more secure location to seek shelter since mobile homes are no match for the winds of tornadoes.
Taking Shelter While in a Vehicle:
If you happen to be driving during a tornado the worst thing you can do is to try and play chicken or outrun a tornado. Park your vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a ditch and keep your arms extended over your head. Just like a thunderstorm, the worst spot would be under a tree or under your vehicle.
If you happen to find yourself in a park or an open space and seek the lowest spot near you such as ditch or ravine. Cover your head with your arms and wait for the tornado to pass.
Lastly, pick up a weather radio so that you can get alerts in the event that you experience a power outage which is likely during a thunderstorm.