While many people think tornadoes impact only the Midwest, every state in the country is vulnerable to tornadoes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Approximately 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. each year, causing an average of $24,000 in home damage and $4,000 in auto damage.
Stay prepared and informed of severe weather drills in your state by checking the official severe weather preparedness dates. These drills are typically conducted before tornado season begins in each state.
Preparing your car before a tornado strikes
If the area you live in is under a tornado watch, which means that tornadoes are possible in the nearby area, move your car into a garage or away from any trees. Do not, however, attempt to do this if conditions are unsafe or if your area is under a tornado warning.
Preparing your home before tornado season
To prepare your home before a tornado, trim trees and shrubbery. Be on the lookout for weak branches that could fall on your home. You should also replace landscaping materials like gravel and rock with mulch. If weather forecasters are projecting severe weather in the coming days, move anything in your yard that may become flying debris inside your house or garage.
Additional tornado safety tips
If a tornado watch is in effect in your area:
- Carefully monitor local radio and television broadcasts for announcements
- Turn off all utilities
- Close all of your windows
- Never take shelter under a bridge or overpass
It’s important to know how to prepare for a tornado and what to do during a tornado. For more information check out these tornado safety tips.