About 1,200 tornadoes touchdown in the United States every year and they can strike with little notice. Destruction and injuries can be greatly increased unless you take the proper steps to prepare yourself and your home for a tornado season disaster ahead of time.
noun (tôr nādō): a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour.
A New Tornado Alley
Anyone who has ever experienced a tornado first hand remembers that tornado sound. Now even more people may be at risk for that same experience. Tornado Alley typically includes the Plains states from the Dakotas to Texas. However, due to recent research of the frequency and severity of tornadoes across the United States, Tornado Alley now has a sister, Dixie Alley which includes: Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.
This area is like no other area in the world; Dixie Alley hosts a tornado season for three out of the four seasons of the year. In the fall, winter and spring months the North American Jet Stream has the air churning just right to create severe windstorm capabilities. Active cold fronts in the spring and passing tropical storms in the summer and fall make the southern states a prime breeding ground for tornadoes. The state of Georgia is the fourth most tornado-ridden area in the country. Although tornadoes can happen throughout the fall, winter and spring, the peak season is March through May, which means now is the best time to prepare.
What to do Before the Tornado
- Make an emergency kit – pack supplies that will help with loss of electricity, water, gas, shelter, as well as injuries for at least 72 hours (flashlight, food, water, radio, clothes, toiletries, batteries, emergency contacts, medications, cash, maps, blanket, bandages, etc.).
- Develop and practice emergency plan – make sure everyone knows where to go, what to take how to get in touch with each other if separated during a tornado, and how to stay safe.
- Don’t forget about your pets!
- Know the areas of risk for tornadoes and their official response plans.
- Show everyone where the first aid kit and fire extinguishers are located (and how to use them).
- Clearly mark utility switches to ensure quick ability to turn them off
- Remember important documents – make copies of birth certificates, insurance information, social security cards, will, etc. and store them in a weather proof safe place.
- Familiarize yourself with the closest evacuation center – it’s important to know where the safest place to be is. These are usually schools, community centers or city buildings and will have medical supplies. This can be a meeting place for your family if you get separated.
- Designate a safe room – this room should have no windows, be anchored to the ground, and strong enough to withstand any flying debris that it may come in contact with. Be cautious of using below ground rooms due to the potential for flooding. (link when flood insurance is up)
- Pay attention to your trees – eliminate possible damage by removing disease, damaged or low hanging limbs that could fall on your home or property during a storm. *Store firewood in a structure – they can become “projectiles” during high winds.
- Strengthen your home – consider adding permanent shutters to cover windows quickly to provide safety and protection as well as strengthen garage doors which can be damaged by flying debris or winds. Make sure the inside of your home is just as secure as the outside.
Your Family is Our Family
If your home experiences storm damage due to a tornado or other natural disaster, call Reliable Restoration. We provide 24/7/365 disaster restoration services specializing in storm damage restoration as well as repair and reconstruction. Visit us at: www.choosereliable.com or contact us at: (678) 325-1633.
Dixie Alley Map Image courtesy of Georgia Public Broadcasting