Tornadoes are created out of powerful thunderstorms and can cause fatalities and devastation in seconds. They are rotating, funnel-shaped clouds that extend from the thunderstorm itself down to the ground, and generally occur near the trailing edge of the storm. Winds from a tornado have been known to reach 300 miles per hour and can be obscured by rain or low-hanging clouds, developing so rapidly that advance warning is often almost impossible.
A tornado watch means that the present weather conditions are favorable for violent weather. Keep an eye out for these danger signs:
• Dark and greenish sky
• Large, dark, and low-lying clouds
• Loud roar, often described as sounding like a passing train
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground, or indicated by radar, and you will need to take cover immediately:
• Go to the lowest, most interior area of your home or business immediately, putting as many walls between yourself and the outdoors as you can.
• Stay away from windows, and do not open them.
• Use your arms to protect your head, or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag/pillow.
• Remember where very heavy objects are on the floor above, and stay away from the area directly beneath, in case they fall through.
If you are in a mobile home, evacuate immediately. At school or work, you will need to follow the established drills to protect yourself. In an office building, go to an enclosed and windowless area near the center, away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Make sure you stay off of elevators, as you could become trapped. Never try to out-drive a tornado; if you are caught in your car, get out of it and go to the nearest building. If you can’t get out, stay in the car with the seat belt on, and put your head down below the windows, covering your head with your hands, coat, or any other cushion. If you can safely get to an area that is much lower than the roadway, leave your car and lie down in that area, covering your head with your hands.
It is important to have a tornado safety plan in place at your home or office, letting your workforce and family know where to quickly take shelter.
When it comes to damages to your home or business by a tornado, hurricane or other severe weather, remember that the team here at SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need us, we will be there right away.