Due to the drastic weather changes that are occurring on a more regular basis, people need to educate their children about the various weather and other disaster alerts as well as teaching them the course of action that they should take in case of such emergencies.
Inclement weather is often announced on the television or radio. Yet if you were to ask many adults what the different alerts mean, many would find themselves struggling to find the answers. The following is a brief description of tornadoes, the warning systems, and the steps that you need to take to ensure your family's safety.
For many people in the United States, tornadoes are a common occurrence. Although they usually appear between the months of March and August, they can occur at any time. These violent storms can have winds up to 300 miles per hour and when they reach the ground, can damage an area of one mile wide and fifty miles long. These monsters of nature will devastate anything in their path so a safety plan has been developed to ensure that human lives are spared.
Tornadoes usually develop during periods of severe thunderstorms. If the conditions are favorable for a tornado to form, the National Weather Service that is responsible for your area will issue a tornado watch. This simply means that there is a possibility of a tornado and you should stay inside and tune into your local weather station.
Since many of these violent storms develop as a result of warm and cold air patterns colliding, you may notice a drastic change in the air temperature. It may become very warm or very cold. Hail is often reported before the appearance of a tornado as well. The air may become very still and quiet. If any of these phenomenons occur, you may want to keep an eye on the sky as well as listen to your local channel as the weather stations and warning alarms are not one hundred percent accurate. You want to look for any strange cloud formations or movements. If you notice anything unusual, you will want to seek shelter.
If a tornado has been spotted, your local channel will announce a tornado warning. This means that you should go to your basement or to a reinforced room in the middle of the house or one with very few windows (usually a bathroom is a good place due to the plumbing that is supporting the walls). Many areas also have a tornado alarm system that will sound off in the event of a tornado warning. Again, these warnings and alarm systems are not completely accurate. If you think that you have seen a tornado, seek cover even if the alarms have not gone off.
If you are in a vehicle and you spot a tornado, take shelter in a nearby building. If you cannot find a building, you should lie in a ditch or ravine face down, covering your head with your hands.
You should take the time to explain to your children exactly what a tornado is and the actions needed to be taken to remain safe in case you are not with them when disaster strikes.