The National Weather Services reports an average of 1,200 tornadoes strike the U.S. every year. In fact, the U.S. has more tornadoes in any given year than any other country and reports the worst tornado destruction from violent EF4 and EF5 tornadoes than anywhere else in the world.
Tornadoes are unpredictable forces of nature that are certain to occur in every state every season, which is why being prepared for a tornado could mean the difference between life and death.
Follow our family emergency plan to stay prepared for severe weather and natural disasters:
1. Identify a safe room where you and your family can take cover
- Above ground safe rooms, which are reinforced steel closets, can typically withstand side impact and fallout from a tornado with up to an F3 rating, equal to side impact and gravity fallout from winds up to 200 mph).
- Underground shelters installed into the floor of your garage or backyard can withstand fallout impact from the most powerful tornado with an F6 rating, equal to winds up to 319 mph and debris pile up to 4,000 pounds.
2. Pack a severe weather preparedness kit that includes:
- A pair of sturdy shoes or boots – oftentimes you and your family members will retreat to your shelter in a hurry and you may not be wearing shoes. When the storm has passed and you emerge from shelter, there will likely be broken glass and debris that could injure feet.
- Fully charged cell phone
- A blanket – both for warmth and to shield you and your family from falling debris
- Battery-powered flashlight and glow sticks
- Weather radio – if you have an underground storm shelter installed into the floor of your garage, we recommend keeping the radio always plugged into a garage outlet so you can turn it on and just increase the volume when you’re taking cover in your garage shelter.
- Coach’s whistle – if your cell phone isn’t working or the battery dies, a whistle will help attract the attention of neighbors after the storm.
- Water – FEMA recommends a three-day supply for your emergency kit. Of that stock, bring one bottle per family member into your storm shelter. nationalstormshelter.com 4 Severe Weather Family Emergency Plan
- Personal Locator Beacon or PLB – these are personal emergency locator transmitters that send distress signals to geostationary satellites.