Tornado emergency

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Large, powerful tornadoes can cause a very large amount of damage when striking areas with a lot of people.

A tornado emergency is a stronger wording of tornado warnings used by the National Weather Service in the United States. It is used when a large, powerful tornado is in an area with a lot of people. It means that a very large amount of damage and a high possibility of a lot of deaths are expected.

The term was first used on May 3, 1999 when an F5 tornado hit just south of Oklahoma City in Moore. Between 5:30 and 6:00 PM, a large, powerful tornado was heading for Oklahoma City, leading to the first tornado emergency.[1][2]

Tornado safety[change | change source]

If people are in a tornado's path, they should follow these safety tips:

  • Go underground.
  • If there is no floor beneath your house, go to the nearest storm shelter, safe room, or go to the center of the house and stay away from windows and doors.
  • If you are outside, get into a pit or somewhere low, cover your head and neck.
  • Bring a disaster preparedness kit which includes:
    • water, a gallon per person per day
    • food, non-perishable and can opener
    • battery or hand crank radio
    • flashlight and batteries
    • whistle
    • dust mask for every person
    • moist hand wipes and garbage bags
    • prescription medication and glasses
    • infant formula and diapers
    • pet food, extra water, collar and leash
    • first aid kit and first aid book
    • important documents such as identification, insurance policies and bank information
    • cash and coins
    • fire extinguisher
    • hygiene items and feminine supplies
    • blankets for each individual
    • change of clothing for each individual and sturdy shoes
    • paper and writing utensil
    • books, games and stuffed animals for children

Tornado emergency example[change | change source]

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSON MS
1203 PM CDT SAT APR 24 2010

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1230 PM CDT FOR CENTRAL
YAZOO COUNTY...

...THIS IS A TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR THE WARNED AREA...

AT 1203 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS AND STORM
SPOTTERS WERE TRACKING A LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WEDGE
TORNADO.  THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED 6 MILES NORTH OF SATARTIA MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.

THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
  YAZOO CITY AND LITTLE YAZOO BY 1210 PM CDT...
  MYRLEVILLE BY 1215 PM CDT...
  BENTON AND EDEN BY 1220 PM CDT...
  MIDWAY BY 1225 PM CDT...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WARNING MEANS THAT A TORNADO IS OCCURRING OR IMMINENT. YOU
SHOULD ACTIVATE YOUR TORNADO ACTION PLAN AND TAKE PROTECTIVE ACTION
NOW. SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE HAS OCCURRED WITH THIS SIGNIFICANT TORNADO!

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND SERIOUS LIFE THREATENING
SITUATION. THIS STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG TO VIOLENT
TORNADOES. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS TORNADO...TAKE COVER
IMMEDIATELY!

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM CDT SATURDAY EVENING
FOR MISSISSIPPI.

References[change | change source]

  1. "May 3rd, 1999 from the NWS's Perspective". The Southern Plains Cyclone (National Weather Service) 2 (2). Spring 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-11-08. http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20041108065124/http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/newsletter/spring2004/#19990503. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  2. Mathis, Nancy (2007). "Inside the Bear's Cage". Storm Warning: The Story of a Killer Tornado. Touchstone. p. 129. ISBN 0-7432-8053-9 .