The EF4 multiple vortex tornado that touched down in Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011 was part of the largest tornado outbreak in United States History. 358 tornadoes were spawned from a vicious weather pattern that lasted from April 25-28th of 2011, killing 324 people across six states. In Tuscaloosa alone, 64 people were killed, including six University of Alabama students, and 1,500 people were injured as the tornado made its way up to the suburbs of Birmingham for more than 40 minutes.
Tornado season typically runs from March through May in the Southern region, but persistent cold air has prevented violent thunderstorms and tornadoes from forming, as they are fueled by warm, moist air near the ground. With a transition to spring still on the horizon, experts predict that the shift to storm season may occur later and with greater intensity.
In light of these predictions, we want to ensure that our friends, family and customers are prepared for the threat of severe weather. Please take a moment to download our free storm preparedness checklist. This resource walks you through the creation of an emergency kit and provides helpful tips on storm saftey.
Tags: tornado season 2014, National Storm Shelters, national weather, preparing for a tornado, prepare for natural disaster, storm safety, tornado season, storm preparedness, National Storm Shelter, severe weather, meteorology
Once you have an emergency preparedness plan ready for your family, it’s important to make sure your “furry family members” have one too.
In this video, National Storm Shelters president Jeff Turner gives you four tornado safety tips to prepare for tornado season 2014.
Misconceptions and myths about severe weather can often lead to a false sense of security for homeowners when they are faced with a dangerous storm situation. Being prepared for a tornado to strike starts with being well informed. Here are three tips you should know for tornado season 2014.
Heed every tornado warning and prepare for the worst.
You may have been under many tornado warnings in the past without a glimpse of an actual funnel cloud, but that doesn’t mean you are out of harms way. Tornadoes do not always take a perfect funnel shape and they can easily be hidden by heavy rainfall or by the darkness of night. Since they can change direction at any time, you must always consider yourself in the path of a tornado if a warning has been issued.
If your valuables were damaged by severe weather, would you know how to describe them to your insurance agent? Most people have trouble remembering the specifics about their possessions, which can help initiate and settle insurance claims.
Before storm season hits, start by taking an inventory of the items in your home with the following steps:
Now is the perfect time to start preparing for tornado season, which typically runs from March to May.
The National Weather Service reports that 898 tornadoes killed 55 people in the U.S. last year and caused billions of dollars in damages.
Knowing the damage that tornadoes cause, here are tips to prepare you before, during and after a tornado:
• Before a tornado strikes. Talk with your family about a plan. Identify a safe place to take shelter and designate a place and time to meet up if you get separated. The safest places to take cover are industry-certified storm shelters, basements or the most-interior space of your home, such as a closet under the stairs or bathroom.
Now is the perfect time to practice your tornado safety plan and check with your local media to learn more about storm preparedness classes in your area.
After you create a tornado safety plan, pack an easily accessible emergency kit that includes a battery-powered flashlight, weather radio, charged cellphone, water, pair of sturdy shoes and more.
• During a tornado. Know the signs typically reported during tornado activity: dark, often greenish clouds, hail or heavy rain, followed by dead calm or intense wind shift and a loud roar that sounds like a train.
Take action when a tornado warning is issued because this means spotters have sighted a tornado formation or one has been indicated on weather radars. NOAA estimates most tornado warnings are issued 13 minutes before they strike, so move quickly to take cover.
If you are in a structurally sound building, avoid windows and glass doorways, taking cover in the lowest level possible or an interior hallway. If you’re caught outside, try to get inside a nearby building but avoid buildings with long-span roofs such as gymnasiums or malls. If you can’t get inside, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head with your hands.
If you’re in a car, do not try to outrun the tornado and do not take shelter under an overpasses, which can act as a wind tunnel, putting you in the path of flying debris. It’s safer to abandon your car and take shelter in a ditch or nearby building.
There is no safe room in a mobile home. If you live in a mobile home, plan to evacuate to a designated storm shelter or nearby building.
• After a tornado. Once you’ve determined everyone is safe, survey the damage. The Red Cross recommends taking pictures and video of the wreckage for insurance purposes. If you’re outside and your home’s damage looks extensive, wait for an emergency responder’s approval, as your structure may not be secure.
Contact your insurance provider to make and settle your insurance claims to replace your lost valuables. Many insurance providers have apps that allow you to record your damage and send it directly to your insurance broker. This approach, in contrast to calling an agent, is more direct and will result in a faster turnaround.
Being unprepared for a natural disaster can affect many lives including your own. Being knowledgeable about the effects of a tornado can help you become prepared for these dangerous natural disasters.
You should become familiar with what a tornado is and what to do before, during and after a tornado has occurred. If you live in a very tornado-prone area, it is important to know what to do if you find yourself in the path of one. It's equally important to have an emergency supply kit prepared in advance so that you and your family are Red Cross Ready before disaster strikes.