How To Be Prepared For A Tornado

From Texas and Florida to Ohio and Illinois, people living in states in Hurricane and Tornado Alley should always have a plan in place for what to do in case of extreme weather. If your local news is sounding extreme weather alerts in your area, make sure you have ready-access to safe shelter. That can be your basement, a community area nearby designed to withstand storms, or, the most convenient and reliable retreat: an above-ground storm shelter or safe room in your house. Don’t have a tornado shelter in your home and want to learn more about their primary and secondary values, price, and which one is right for your property? Read more about your FamilySAFE storm shelter options or reach out to us today to get your free safe room or storm shelter quote!

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Q&A: Learning How to Prepare When a Tornado Is on Its Way

This guide goes over some of the essential information you need to know to maximally guarantee your and your family’s safety during a hurricane, tornado, or another type of high-wind event. We’ll go over some key questions, such as:

  • Where are tornadoes most common?
  • What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?
  • How are tornadoes predicted?
  • When should you go to your above-ground storm shelter or safe room?
  • What should be kept in your tornado shelter or safe room in advance for preparedness?
  • What do you need to do to survive a tornado?
  • And more

Keep reading for answers to all these questions and more…

Tornado Shelter & Safe Room Frequently Asked Questions

If you are in a tornado prone area, this information will be very helpful and immediately relevant for you and your family’s safety.

What Is a Safe Room, and What Are Their Design Requirements?

Safe rooms are hardened structures designed to meet FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) criteria regarding the life-safety protection during extreme wind events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Getting a FEMA-compliant steel storm shelter or safe room from FamilySAFE Shelters installed somewhere on your property is a great way to give yourself the peace of mind knowing that, if and when an extreme wind event occurs, you are prepared. Our tornado shelters and safe rooms were designed to withstand any and all tornadoes, including up EF5 (tornadoes with wind speeds greater than 200 mph). 

FamilySAFE Shelters is the most experienced storm shelter and safe room company in the USA. It is our life and driving force, and we will never cut any corners on our shelters’ designs or the way they are installed. Every FamilySAFE storm shelter is engineered, tested, and certified, and will be installed ONLY by our HILTI trained and certified FamilySAFE installers. We are proud of the fact that we have had over a dozen FamilySAFE tornado safe rooms and shelters that have successfully survived direct hits from EF4 and EF5 tornadoes, without even becoming dented. When it comes to hurricane and tornado safety, one of the absolute most important things you can do to ensure your safety is to prepare in advance, in particular getting a reliable, safe place for you and your family to remain safe during the extreme weather.  

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Where Are Tornadoes Most Common?

Most tornadoes in the United State occur in the Great Plains, in the center of the country. This region is also called Tornado Alley. It is an ideal environment for the formation of tornadoes, due to the cold air moving south from Canada and the warm air moving north from the Gulf of Mexico. While tornadoes can form any time during the year, they are most common during the spring and summer months. Peak months for tornadoes are typically May and June. 

What Is the Difference Between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning?

Tornado watches are officially issued when conditions favorable to the formation of tornadoes are present, and meteorologists are closely monitoring a storm with tornado-development potential. A tornado watch is typically issued plenty of time in advance of severe weather, giving people time to review tornado safety rules and prepare to move to a safe place if the threatening weather manifests severely. 

 

A tornado warning is issued when it is time to take action. It is issued when tornadoes are sighted on radar or by spotters, and means that, if you are in the area, you should seek shelter immediately. Tornado watches typically are issued for time periods of 4 to 8 hours, while a tornado warning is issued for around a half hour. When you are issued a regional tornado warning, it’s now a good time to retreat to your tornado shelter, if you have one. 

How Are Tornadoes Predicted?

Meteorologists use a wide array of tools and methods for analyzing and predicting the weather. With radar and other tools, they are able to track the path of thunderstorms that have a chance of producing tornadoes. However, meteorologists do not have the capability to detect funnel clouds on radar, predict its path, its touchdown point, and other important information. Doppler radar has been improving greatly over the years, being able to measure distance, velocity, and other key data, but research continues for improving accuracy and determining other key information which is currently not predictable outside of statistical probability analysis. That’s why tornado watches and tornado warnings are given to a whole region — with the logic that it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

 

What should be kept in your tornado shelter or safe room in advance for preparedness?

Read “THE PREPPER’S GUIDE TO STORM SHELTERS” for Essential Preparation Information

 

What Storm Shelters Are Available From FamilySAFE?

FamilySAFE storm shelters and safe rooms are the best option for people looking to be prepared for the worst. We are the only company with a written letter of endorsement from the HILTI anchorage company, have installed more than 20,000 storm shelters and have never had a single complaint filed with the BBB, and our storm shelters have a proven track record of surviving more than 11 different EF4 and EF5 tornadoes already, with not one shelter even receiving a dent. We are America’s most experienced above-ground tornado shelter company. Contact FamilySAFE Shelters today for a free quote! 

Call Us: 918-443-7233

What Are Some Other Safety Tips For Tornadoes?

Two things you can do to maximize your and your family’s safety during a storm is to prepare in advance by setting up safety measures, practicing what you will do before an event occurs, and knowing the signs of a tornado so you can be more prepared.

Prevention Before The Storm

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Knowing you have a place you can take shelter in a matter of seconds is crucial. It’s also important to practice family tornado drills once a year or so so everyone knows what to do when a tornado warning is issued in your area. One of the most dangerous things about tornadoes is flying debris, so it’s crucial you have a safe place to go and a well-coordinated process for what to do when a tornado occurs. 

One crucial way you can prepare for high, dangerous winds and flying debris hitting your home is to get an above-ground storm shelter installed in your house that you know you can count on. And that’s what you get when you choose FamilySAFE: safety, security, and peace-of-mind. 

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Know The Signs

Weather forecasting is imperfect. There is no substitute for being able to use your own sense to remain alert to the weather conditions incoming. Besides obvious tornados already formed, there are some other things to look and listen for that should immediately start ringing some warning bells in your mind. 

  1. Persistent and strong rotation at the base of clouds
  2. Whirling debris or dust below storm clouds (some tornadoes have no funnels)
  3. Extreme rain or hail followed by a dead calm
  4. Sudden shift in intense wind’s direction
  5. A loud continuous rumbling or roar, which does not fade away like thunder

How to Survive a Tornado

To recap: surviving a tornado is all about finding shelter and preparing in advance. In both cases, FamilySAFE Shelters can help you. We provide high-quality, affordable steel above-ground tornado shelters for people in Tornado Alley and also for protection against hurricanes. 

Whether you’re interested in having an above-ground tornado shelter or a safe room installed on your property, our specialists can help. Read our FAQ page for more answers to your potential questions, or feel free to contact us now to learn more about what would be best for your property and your budget. We have certified tornado shelter dealers all across America, including in Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Tornados and hurricanes are not to be underestimated; they are incredibly violent and dangerous. However, with proper preparation and a safe place to go in extreme weather conditions, you can ensure that you and your family stay safe in even the most dangerous of conditions. Choose a FamilySAFE storm shelter or safe room for convenient, reliable safety.

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