Tornadoes can occur almost anywhere on land with favorable atmospheric conditions. These favorable conditions that tornadoes often form in are areas where a weather system with warm moist air, clashes dangerously with cold dry air. This clash of a cold front and warm front creates an instability in the atmosphere, therefore creating strong rotations of air columns. Tornadoes are one of the most dangerous weather disaster on land. The wind from tornadoes destroy both man-made and natural structures, uproot trees and electrical poles, and hurl debris around at deadly speeds. In the United States, tornadoes are most common in the great plains and Midwest states but they can happen anywhere.
How to stay safe during a tornado
- If you are in a building, find a safe place inside such as a basement or interior room on the floor closest to ground level without windows that you and your family members can fit it.
- If you find yourself in a tall building such as a skyscraper, try to find a safe hallway closest to the interior of the building and without windows. Do not try and make it to the ground-floor/basement if you are stories in the air; you most likely will not have time to make it there safely.
- If you live in a mobile home where tornadoes occur often, it might be best to invest into a storm shelter. It is best to find a sturdy building if nearby, but if there is not shelter it is best for you to get out of the mobile home and lay on lower or flat ground.
- If you are caught driving in a tornado, it is NOT safe to seek shelter under overpasses or bridges. If you are far enough away from the tornado and there are not many other motorists around you, you may drive away from the tornado at right angled directions. If you are close, park the car off the roadway and cover yourself inside the car below the windows or exit the car to seek lower ground and lay flat covering your head from debris.
- If you get caught outdoors away from buildings in a tornado, it is best to get away from trees and seek shelter in lower ground while laying flat and covering your head.
It's important to know the difference between watches and warnings.
A tornado watch is issued when there are favorable conditions in the atmosphere capable of creating a tornado.
A tornado warning is an alert to warn the general public that a tornado has touched the ground in the area or is going to. This is the time to get in a safe place.
If you find yourself with storm damage following a tornado or another natural disaster, call SERVPRO of Western O'Fallon/Wentzville at (636)-856-9700