Three Tips for Staying Safe in Tornado Alley

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Three Tips for Staying Safe in Tornado Alley


Above ground storm shelter

Tornadoes impact all of us. There are approximately 1,200 tornadoes that touch American soil each year, in all 50 states. However, if you live in Arizona or Nevada, you might think the threat is minimal. This is because tornadoes are more likely to hit the states east of the Rocky Mountains, and are more disastrous when they do there.

So let’s say you move from your warm cozy home in New Mexico, to the heart of the tornado alley in Alabama (fun fact: while there are more tornadoes in Florida than any other state in the country, there are more tornado related deaths in Alabama. Now that we hear it, its not a very fun fact at all). Anyways, how does one stay safe when disaster strikes? If you’re new to “Tornado Alley,” pay attention to our list of tips, below:

Three Tips for Staying Safe in Tornado Alley

  1. Know What’s Going On Around You

    You don’t want to be caught off-guard by a violent twister. If you don’t have an alert set up that will tell you when a tornado is approaching, you could be at a window-laden fast food eatery or walking down the street when disaster strikes, leaving you with the lowest possible chance of survival.

    When you move to a new area in a tornado-prone area, make sure to acquaint yourself with the protocol that is used when a twister approaches. Do they have sirens that go off at schools when a twister is in the area? Are there public bunkers set up in case a twister strikes in public?

    Make sure to pay attention to the news every morning; if there is any chance or a tornado, it will definitely be mentioned. And by all means, embrace technology: there are apps that will alert you if you are in an area that is under tornado advisory. These simple tricks will ensure that you are aware of your risk and are prepared if disaster strikes.

    We’ll throw this in for free: you can usually customize these apps to any area you want. If you have a child in college or who lives apart from you, knowing that they are safe from tornadoes will help you sleep at night.

  2. Know Where Your Tornado-safe Zone is

    When a twister strikes, your best case of staying safe rides on the storm shelters you’re hidden in. You might need to be in a basement, hallway, or closet (somewhere far from windows and heavy objects that could fall over on you!) or even better, a tornado shelter that is specially equipped to withstand the winds.

    If your home doesn’t already have a safe place to hide in a storm, it’s a good idea to look into above ground tornado shelters that are on the market these days. There was a time that the storm shelter had to be installed underground before you built the home. Not anymore. Technology now allows you to retrofit any home with above ground tornado shelters that provide more safety than your hallway or bathtub (or even an outdated underground storm shelter). On top of that, above ground tornado shelters are often less expensive and invasive than digging down underground. There are a lot of above ground tornado shelters on the market now; you just have to do some research to find the best option for your home.

  3. Be Tornado Ready

    The thing about tornadoes is you might only have ten or fifteen minutes warning before it hits. You’ll usually get slammed with a tornado in the middle of horrific weather conditions, when there is no safe way to collect the provisions you need. Instead, make a disaster kit and have it ready in case a tornado strikes. This should include flash lights and a battery powered radio, so you can keep in touch with the news reports and stay safe if the electricity goes out (which is common during tornadoes). Add some non-perishable food, and a few bottles of water. Those will be irreplaceable if you get stuck in your storm shelter for a while. Maybe throw in a deck of cards to entertain yourself and your family with. Your time in the shelter doesn’t have to be miserable, if you’re prepared for it.

Do you have questions? Share them in the comment section below!

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