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Tornadoes

Questions & Answers

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How to Survive a Tornado

 

Why is it that so many tornado warnings issued by the weather service never result in a tornado?   Is that not like the little boy crying wolf?

Current technology only allows for the National Weather Service to determine if a storm has a strong probability of developing a tornado.  If we waited for confirmation of a tornado on the ground, lives could be lost, without ever having the benefit of a warning. 

So what is the best action to take when a tornado warning has been issued?

When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, you should immediately seek shelter, turn on your TV or radio to a local broadcast station for more information, and prepare for a possible tornado. 

A tornado warning does not necessarily mean that a tornado is on the ground. It is an alert issued by government weather services to warn that severe storms with tornadoes may be imminent. It can be issued after a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by eye, or more commonly if there are radar indications of tornado formation.


Where are the tornado shelters?

The City of Dyersburg operates 2 (F5) rated tornado shelters.  One is located at 215 South Church  Street, across from Fire Station 1, and the other is located at 399 Highway 51 By-pass, next to the campus of Dyersburg High School. 

The shelters are operational any time a tornado watch or warning has been issued. 
Do not to attempt to travel to a shelter during a tornado warning.  You should shelter in place; traveling to a shelter during a warning could place you in harms way.

Pets are not allowed in the storm shelter, with exception to service animals.  You are not allowed to bring pillows, blankets, food or drinks.

Note, once a tornado warning has been issued, exit from the shelter is strictly prohibited during the warning. 

If you have your own personal storm shelter, please register your storm shelter with the Dyersburg Fire Department by calling  (731) 288-7614.

 

What is the best advice on how to keep abreast of severe weather alerts?

  • Install a weather radio with SAME technology at home or work, which allows you to receive alerts only for specific counties
  • Cell phone text message and email alerts (numerous subscription and free sources to receive text and email alerts)

 

About Tornadoes

Tornadoes are considered to be the most erratic, most unpredictable and most violent of all atmospheric storms. Winds in the strongest of these storms can exceed 250 mph. By definition, a tornado is often described as a violently rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, either pendant from a cumuliform cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a condensation funnel cloud. Significant damage can occur even when the condensation funnel does not reach the ground.

The most dangerous tornadoes develop from supercells — which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. Most severe thunderstorms and resulting tornadic events occur during the spring (March, April, May and June) and, at a lesser intensity, during the fall (September, October, and November); however, tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.


Before the Storm

  • Purchase a weather radio. It will alert you to any hazardous conditions that may exist.
  • Prepare your 72 Hour Kit. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of spare batteries.
  • Identify a room in your house that will keep you safe during a storm. The best safe room is a small, interior room on the lowest floor of your house, such as a closet or small bathroom. Stay away from windows, and get under a sturdy piece of furniture if possible.
  • Know the difference between watches and warnings…
  • TORNADO WATCH: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
  • TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
  • SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.
  • SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: Severe thunderstorms are occurring.
     Develop a plan with your family on what to do during tornado warnings, and practice it by participating in family tornado drills.

During the Storm

  • Monitor your indoor personal notification system and local media to stay informed about the severity of the storm.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • If a tornado warning is announced for your area, seek shelter immediately. Go to your safe room with your family and pets. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture if possible. Keep your flashlight and radio with you, and continue to listen to emergency weather reports.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately for a safe shelter.
  • Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home, and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter.
 
 
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