A weather event that can strike with little warning, tornadoes are one of the most unpredictable and potentially dangerous natural disasters in Andover, Kansas, and Kansas as a whole. They can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and other property, and put lives at risk. That is why it’s important to be prepared for tornado season, which typically runs from March to June in the United States, but also important to remember that tornadoes can potentially happen whenever the weather conditions are right.
While tornadoes themselves can be unpredictable, there is essential information on how to prepare for a tornado, including understanding what tornadoes are and how they form, tornado
preparedness, safety tips, and recovery efforts. By taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your property in Andover, Kansas, you can stay ahead of the storm and minimize the damage caused by a tornado. For the purpose of this blog, we will cover understanding tornadoes, tornado preparedness, and safety in the event of a tornado.
UNDERSTANDING TORNADOES: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY FORM?
As Kansans, we may feel that we know everything there is to know, but for the sake of thoroughness, let’s talk about tornadoes. Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air that extend from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. They can be up to a mile wide and travel at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
Tornadoes typically form when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with cool, dry air from Canada or the Rocky Mountains. This clash of air masses creates instability in the atmosphere, leading to the development of thunderstorms. As the thunderstorm grows, it can start to rotate, forming a mesocyclone. When the mesocyclone reaches the ground, it can produce a tornado.
It’s important to note that tornadoes can form in any state, and at any time of the year. However, they are most common in “Tornado Alley” which stretches from Texas to South Dakota, and during the spring and summer months.
TORNADO PREPAREDNESS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Being prepared for a tornado can mean the difference between life and death, and can also help to minimize property damage in Andover, Kansas. The following are some essential steps you can take to prepare for tornado season:
- Know the Warning Signs
One of the most important steps in tornado preparedness is being able to recognize the warning signs of a tornado. These include dark, greenish sky; large hail; a loud roar, similar to a freight train; and a funnel shaped cloud. If you see any of these signs, take shelter immediately.
- Identify Safe Shelter Areas
Identify safe shelter areas in your home or workplace, such as a basement, storm cellar, or interior room on the lowest level of the building. If you live in an apartment or high-rise building, go to the lowest level and take shelter in a small interior room, such as a bathroom or closet.
- Create an Emergency Kit
Create an emergency kit that includes essential supplies, such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Keep the kit in a safe, accessible location.
- Secure Your Property
Secure loose objects outside your home or workplace, such as patio furniture or garbage cans, and trim trees and shrubs to reduce the risk of damage from falling branches.
- Purchase a Weather Radio
Purchase a weather radio that can provide you with up-to-date information on tornado warnings and alerts. Be sure to keep the radio in a safe, accessible location, and make sure it is properly programmed.
TORNADO SAFETY TIPS: WHAT TO DO DURING A TORNADO
If a tornado is imminent, it is important to take immediate action to protect yourself and your loved ones. The following are some essential safety tips to keep in mind during a tornado:
- Seek Shelter Immediately
Seek shelter in a safe location as soon as you receive a tornado warning or notice any of the warning signs. If you are in a building, go to the lowest level and take shelter in an interior room, such as a bathroom or closet. If you are outside, seek shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch or culvert.
- Cover Your Head
Cover your head and neck with your arms and hands to protect yourself from flying debris. If possible, use a heavy blanket or sleeping bag to provide additional protection.
- Stay Informed
Stay informed about the tornado’s progress by listening to a weather radio or local news station. Do not leave your shelter until you are certain that the danger has passed.
Being prepared for a tornado is essential to the safety and survival of you and your family. Tornadoes can cause significant damage to homes and property in Andover, Kansas, as well as threaten the lives of those in their path. By being prepared for a tornado, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones, such as having an emergency kit, identifying safe shelter areas in advance, and staying informed about weather conditions in your area. It is important to remember that tornadoes can strike suddenly and without warning, so being prepared can make all the difference in minimizing the impact of this natural disaster on your life. In the event that a tornado does affect your home or property, there is help, and in the next blog we will talk about recovery efforts and restoration services that can help when a home is affected by a tornado.
“Ray was very professional and did a wonderful job identifying the issue I had.”
— WES M. IN WICHITA, KANSAS