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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO Tips: When tornado season is upon you

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

In Michigan, tornadoes occur from April to July and we average 16 a year. Typically a tornado is grounded for 10 minutes and travels 5 miles. In extreme cases, tornadoes are known to be grounded for an hour and travel over 100 miles. 

Being prepared for tornadoes is difficult; although meteorologists are better able to predict the signs a twister is coming, they can still strike with little warning. The first step is knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means the conditions are favorable for a tornado to happen. A tornado warning means a tornado or rotation has been spotted or picked up by radar. Even a few minutes of warning can provide an opportunity for those in harm's way to seek shelter. Communities with a history of tornado activity may have a warning siren or digital messaging system to alert residents to seek shelter. If your area doesn't have these systems, there are other signs to watch out for: a dark greenish sky/a dark, rotating, low altitude cloud/large hail/loud roar (like a train).

If a tornado has been sighted, stay calm but move quickly to the safest place possible and remember, don't wait until you see the tornado to take action! 

If you're at home, the safest place to be is underground. Basements are generally the most protected area, but if that's not an option take cover in the central most part of your home away from windows. This could be a bathroom, closet, hallway or even under a heavy piece of furniture. 

If you're at work (in an office building) the safest place is on the lowest level possible, in the central-most area away from windows. You'll want to crouch down to be as low to the ground as possible and cover your head with your arms. Make sure to take the stairs, they can provide shelter and if power is lost you could become trapped in an elevator. 

If you're in your vehicle, abandon it and seek shelter in a sturdy structure. If you're in open country lay face down in the nearest ditch, you'll want to lay flat and protect your the back of your head. Remember to stay as far away from trees and cars as you can and never take cover under a bridge or highway overpass. 

Stay in your shelter until the storm has passed or emergency personnel arrives. If it is safe to go outside watch out for downed power lines and stay away from puddles that have power lines in them. 

Once it is safe to clean up your home and property call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County. We are available for any emergency 24-hours a day at 269-963-3033

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