Tornadoes

Most folks probably think Tornadoes are the deadliest form of severe weather. While of course they're dangerous and can be deadly, they just don't occur as often as lightning and flooding. Some people may live their whole life and never witness a tornado in person, but ask anyone if they're seen lightning or heavy rainfall and they'll say, "of course".

Tornadoes come in all shapes and sizes and strengths. They are rated according to wind speed with what is called the enhanced Fujita Scale; EF-0 being the weakest, EF-5 being the strongest. Fortunately for us, Arkansas has only one EF-5 in recorded history, in April of 1929 in Northern Jackson County. Most of our tornadoes rank in the middle to lower part of the scale.

Now here's what you should know if a tornado threatens...

IN HOMES OR SMALL BUILDINGS:
Go to the basement (if available) or to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Wrap yourself in overcoats or blankets to protect yourself from flying debris.

IN SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, FACTORIES, OR SHOPPING CENTERS:
Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head.

IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS:
Go to interior small rooms or halls. Stay away from exterior walls or areas with glass.

IN CARS OR MOBILE HOMES:
ABANDON THEM IMMEDIATELY!!

Most deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter.

IF NO SUITABLE STRUCTURE IS NEARBY:
Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head.

THV11 TIP: During a Tornado warning, take a flashlight, first aid kit, battery-powered radio or TV and blanket with you in your shelter.