Tornado safety and preparedness

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, they can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds.

Now that summer is here, that also means tornado season has begun. Here are some precautions for the upcoming season:
Preparing for a tornado

· Build an emergency kit including food, water, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, radio, etc.
· Choose a safe room where household members will meet during a tornado. A good spot is the basement. Make sure the room has no windows.
· Pay attention to local news and TV stations.
· Know the community's warning system. Many communities have ways of warning residents about tornadoes such as sirens. All military bases will sound a three to five minute steady tone in the event of a natural disaster.
Look for Tornado Danger Signs
· Dark, greenish clouds, a phenomenon caused by hail.
· Wall cloud, an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm.
· Cloud of debris.
· Large hail.
· Funnel cloud, a visible rotating extension of the cloud base.
· Roaring noise.

Two different states of emergency exist: a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch signals when the conditions mentioned above occur. During a tornado watch, remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information. A tornado warning signals when a tornado appears on radar or visually. If this happens, take shelter immediately in a safe room.

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Feel free to contact the Readiness and Emergency Management Flight with any questions or concerns!