TORNADO SIRENS & METEOROLOGISTS
Tornado sirens do not always provide ample time to get into your storm shelter before a tornado hits your area. Meteorologists do their best to alert people as soon as possible, but they cannot always predict when a tornado will drop out of nowhere. Instead of relying on that whirring noise to run to safety, you need to find other ways to be forewarned about a tornado’s arrival. Here are the top 5 ways to stay informed during tornado season.
1 – Check the TOR:CON
The TOR:CON rating measures the chances of a tornado developing on any given day. It is based on a scale from 1-10, with each number representing a 10% chance. For instance, a day with a TOR:CON rating of 6 has a 60% chance of a tornado developing. Monitor this index during tornado season so you can be more alert on high-risk days.
2 – Watch Local Weather Stations
Do not rely on The Weather Channel to keep you informed. Local weather stations are going to have a much better grasp on what is currently going on in your area. The meteorologists at the station will be able to tell when and where a tornado is likely to develop based on the weather patterns for your area. If they start to warn you to get to shelter, trust their advice and take cover.
3 – Sign Up for Weather Alerts
Most news stations offer weather alerts that you can sign up for through their websites. You will get a text message or an email any time a tornado is expected to drop somewhere close to you. Of course, you will have to count on your phone signal to last enough to receive those alerts, but it is nice to have them as a backup.
4 – Get an In-Home Weather Monitor
You can buy a stand-alone weather monitor that will work even when the cable and internet are down. This is essentially a radio that only plays information about local weather. You can listen to it all day long, or you can set it to go off when a weather advisory is in effect. This is a great backup solution that you may even be able to take into your storm shelter with you – depending on how strong the signal is.
5 – Watch for Warning Signs
Even though tornadoes are unpredictable, the weather that comes before them could indicate if you are at risk or not. Some common ******warning signs of tornadoes****** include: high wind followed by an abrupt calm, a loud roaring noise like a train, a heavy wall cloud with debris, and dark skies. If you think you are in danger, get into your tornado shelter and wait for the storm to pass.