Preparing for Tornadoes... What You Should Know
Tornado season in Canada occurs during the summer months (May to September). There are many things you need to do to prepare for this upcoming summer storm.
What is a Tornado and How Does is Form?
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. They come from large thunderstorms that already have winds in roation.
They form when warm, humid air collides with cold, dry air usually producing thunderstorm. The denser, cold air is pushed over the warm air rises through colder air, causing an undraft.
What Can YOU Do to Prepare For a Tornado?
The best thing you can do to face a tornado, is by educating yourself and preparing the items you'll need in the case a tornado does occur.
Make a Plan
Pick a safe room on your home where you and all your house hold members (and pets) can gather in the event of a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor possible and has no windows.
Prepare Your Yard
Keep on top of basic yard matinence. Doing this can help prevent damage in the event of a storm. Make sure your trees and shrubs are free of weak or dead branches. Also, consider replacing gravel or stone with mulch, dirt or shredded bark. Dead branches can break off and do some considerable amount of damage and so can gravel and stones. On top of that, move any patio furniture or planters into your shed or garage as they could be picked up by the wind and be blown into windows.
Plan for a Power Outage
The power may cut out for a considerable amount of time so it's a good idea to have a backup plan. Keep an emergency kit on hand and store it in an accessible location. This is especially important in the dark so you're able to find it. Plan for 3 days worth of supplies for each family memebr of the house and each pet in case you are unable to leave your home.
Keep an eye on the weather. Even if it is just a tornado warning, summer storms can come suddenly so it's important to stay alert. Continue to check Evironment Canada's website for any updates and to stay informed with the latest news. Other alternative ways of staying in the loop is to listen to your local radio station or downloading a weather app on your phone that send out alerts (like AccuWeather or Weather Underground).
What to Put in Your Emergency Kit...
What to Do in the Event of a Tornado Occuring?
In the event that a tornado does occur, tak shelter in the safe room you and the other memebers of your family have already decided on ahead of time. Make aure all members and pets are accounted for. If you are unable to get to the pre-assigned room, try to get to the lowest floor you can and find a room with no windows. If you are in a car or a mobile home, find shelter in a permanet building with a solid foundation. If there is no building near by, take cover in a low-lyinf ditch away from trees or other objects that could potentially be blown at you.