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Tornado Facts and Tips from Survivor Shelters


  • A sickly greenish or greenish black color to the skyIf there is a tornado warning or watch posted, then the fall of hail should be considered as a real danger.

  • A strange quiet that occurs within or shortly after the thunderstorm.

  • Clouds moving by very fast. Especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area in the sky.

  • A sound a little like a waterfall or rushing air at first, then turning into a roar as it comes closer.

  • If you see a tornado and it is not moving to the right or to the left relative to trees or power poles, it may be moving towards you.

  • Tornados usually move from the southwest to northeast.


  • A Tornado is only a tornado if it’s in contact with the ground. Otherwise, it’s a funnel.

  • Tornados can be nearly invisible, marked only by swirling debris at the base of the funnel.

  • Close to 1,000 tornados, are reported every year in the United States.

  • Most, but not all, tornados in the northern hemisphere spin counter-clockwise, or cyclonically.

  • Leave the windows alone when a tornado is coming. It’s a myth that tornados causes houses to explode due to changes of air pressure.Tornados strike with incredible velocity. Wind speeds may approach 300 miles per hour.

  • Oklahoma City has been hit by more tornados than any other city in the U.S. based on current tornado information.


  • Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. Make sure everyone knows where to go.

  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies kit containing:

  • First aid kit

  • Canned food and can opener

  • Battery-powered radio and flashlights ,extra batteries

  • At least 3 gallons of water

  • Protective clothing

  • Sleeping bags or blankets and pillows

  • Special items when infants, elderly or disabled family members seek shelter

  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so

  • Flashlights or glow sticks for light in your shelter

  • Conduct periodic tornado drills so everyone remembers what to do when a tornado is approaching.


  • Listen to Local radio and tv stations for further updates.

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.


  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.

  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.

  • If you are in car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (above).

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