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Tornado Safety by Kelly Burkholder-Allen, RN, MSEd.

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Presentation on theme: "Tornado Safety by Kelly Burkholder-Allen, RN, MSEd."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tornado Safety by Kelly Burkholder-Allen, RN, MSEd

2 Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, but are most frequently found in the United States On an average year, approximately 1,200 tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in our nation


4 Tornado Season  Tornadoes can occur at any time throughout the year  No state is immune from tornadoes, but are most commonly seen east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer  Southern states experience peak tornado season is from March thru May  Northern states experience their peak season during late spring and early summer

5 Tornado Time? Tornadoes are most likely to occur between the 3 PM and 9 PM, but can occur ANYTIME!

6 Are you prepared for this tornado season?  Have you conducted/participated in a drill in your home, office, or school?  Are disaster supplies on hand?  Does your home, office, or school have an emergency communications plan?  Do you know what to do before, during, and after a tornado?

7 Tornado Terms  Tornado Watch: –Is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when tornadoes are possible. At this time, it is prudent to remain alert for approaching storms, listed to the radio or television for further developments  Tornado Warning: –Is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar

8 Danger Signs  An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado or funnel cloud  Before a tornado strikes, the wind may diminish and the air becomes very still  Tornadoes usually occur in the trailing edge of a thunderstorm—the quiet after the storm  A funny greenish or greenish black color of the sky  Clouds moving VERY FAST  The sound of rushing water which gets louder and sounds like a railroad train or airplane as it approaches  Debris dropping from the sky

9 Tornadoes A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground  May have a transparent appearance until dust and debris are picked up, or a cloud forms within the funnel cloud  The average forward speed is 30mph, although it can vary from a near standstill to 70mph

10 Tornadoes  The most intense tornadoes have rotating winds of up to 250 mph.  Waterspouts are tornadoes which have formed over warm water  Waterspouts can make landfall and cause damage

11 Necessary disaster supplies  It is important to have the following supplies on hand in the event of a disaster: –Flashlight and extra batteries –Portable, battery operated radio with extra batteries –Emergency food and water (3 day supply) –Manual can opener –Essential medications –Cash and credit cards –Sturdy shoes and work gloves –Written instructions for turning off the utilities in your home For additional information about disaster supplies, go to

12 Emergency Communications Plan  In the event that family members are separated during a tornado or other disaster, it is important to have a plan for communicating with each other –Ask an out of state friend or relative to serve as the “contact person” (make sure that all family members know the name, address, and phone number for this person) –Appoint a “meeting place” where you can all congregate

13 Having a drill  No matter where you are when a tornado strikes you should know: –Where to go –What to avoid –How to protect yourself and others

14 Where to go during a storm?  At home: –Go to an interior room without windows, storm cellar, basement, inner room or hallway without windows –Get under sturdy furniture –Use arms to protect head and neck –If in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere  At work or school: –Go to the basement or an inside hallway on the lowest level –Avoid places with wide-span roofs (auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, malls) –Get under sturdy furniture –Protect head and neck with arms

15 Where to go during a storm  If outdoors: –If possible, get inside a building –If indoor shelter is not possible, lie in a ditch or low-lying ravine (be aware of the potential for flooding) –Crouch near a strong building –Use arms to protect head and neck  If in a car: –Never try to out-drive a tornado! They can often change direction and lift a vehicle up and toss it. –Immediately seek shelter in a building –If there is not time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area (beware of the potential for flooding) –Use arms to protect head and neck Additional information can be accessed at:

16 What to do after a storm  Offer aid and assistance to trapped or injured persons  Give first aid as needed  Don’t try to move any seriously injured persons unless immediate danger is present  Call for help  Turn on radio/television to get emergency information  Stay out of damaged buildings  Use telephones only for emergency calls  Clean up spilled medications and hazardous materials  Leave the building if you smell gas or chemicals  Take pictures of damage—buildings and contents

17 Watching the skies  The National Weather Service (NWS) has placed Doppler radars across the country which detect air movement toward or away from radar  This early detection of increasing rotations aloft within thunderstorms makes warnings possible

18 Fun fact from NWS  A tornado near Yellowstone National Park left a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 foot mountain!

19 Tornado Intensity  Weak tornadoes account for 88% of all tornadoes (wind speed >110 mph) –Cause >5% of tornado deaths –Have a lifespan of 1-10+ minutes  Strong tornadoes account for 11% of all tornadoes (wind speed 110-205 mph) –Cause nearly 30% of deaths –Lifespan of 20+ minutes  Violent tornadoes account for less than 1% of all tornadoes (winds <205 mph) –70% of all tornado deaths –Lifetime can exceed 1 hour!

20 Fujita-Pearson Tornado Scale  F-0: 40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken  F-1: 73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off of foundations or overturned  F-2: 113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes destroyed, trees uprooted  F-3: 158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown  F-4: 207-260 mph, well constructed walls are leveled  F-5: 261-316 mph, homes lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances, autos lifted as far as 100 meters

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