Storm Safety

Find a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. Make sure everyone knows where to go.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies kit containing:

  • First aid kit
  • Canned food and can opener
  • Battery-powered radio and flashlights ,extra batteries
  • At least 3 gallons of water
  • Protective clothing
  • Sleeping bags or blankets and pillows
  • Special items when infants, elderly or disabled family members seek shelter
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so
  • Flashlights or glow sticks for light in your shelter

Conduct periodic tornado drills so everyone remembers what to do when a tornado is approaching.

WHEN A TORNADO watch IS ISSUED—

  • Listen to Local radio and tv stations for further updates.

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

WHEN A TORNADO warning IS ISSUED—

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (above).

TORNADO WARNING SIGNS

  • A sickly greenish or greenish black color to the sky
  • If there is a tornado warning or watch posted, then the fall of hail should be considered as a real danger.
  • A strange quiet that occurs within or shortly after the thunderstorm.
  • Clouds moving by very fast. Especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area in the sky.
  • A sound a little like a waterfall or rushing air at first, then turning into a roar as it comes closer.
  • If you see a tornado and it is not moving to the right or to the left relative to trees or power poles, it may be moving towards you.
  • Tornados usually move from the southwest to northeast.

TORNADO FACTS

  • A Tornado is only a tornado if it’s in contact with the ground. Otherwise, it’s a funnel.
  • Tornados can be nearly invisible, marked only by swirling debris at the base of the funnel.
  • Close to 1,000 tornados, are reported every year in the United States.
  • Most, but not all, tornados in the northern hemisphere spin counter-clockwise, or cyclonically.
  • Leave the windows alone when a tornado is coming. It’s a myth that tornados causes houses to explode due to changes of air pressure.
  • Tornados strike with incredible velocity. Wind speeds may approach 300 miles per hour.
  • Oklahoma City has been hit by more tornados than any other city in the U.S. based on current tornado information.