When driving, you can’t avoid unpredictable weather conditions like storms, heavy rain, or tornados, and you need to employ Tornado driving safety to overcome the situation.
I once found myself driving in bad weather, and it wasn’t a nice experience, but I had to apply the safety tips to maneuver easily.
You won’t love it when a tornado hits and you try to drive past it. It may end up causing a disaster. Let’s check what to do when driving and a tornado comes and a tornado driving safety to apply.
1. Don’t Outrun the Tornado
If you are driving and a tornado approaches, the best thing you can do is pull off the road since you can’t predict its direction. You may be tempted to think you can rush home before the Tornado gets to you, which will land you in a disaster.
Don’t outrun the Tornado if it’s coming your way, but if you can tell it’s moving in another direction, you will be good to go.
2. Pull Off and Seek Shelter
Pulling off the road is a good option, especially if there is a sturdy building in the neighborhood. The best structure, like the basement, doesn’t have windows and is at the lowest level.
Ensure there’s a good distance between the shelter and your car, plus the building should be away from trees and objects that the Tornado can carry. It’s best to lie down on the ground and cover your head. This is the best tornado driving safety skill you can when you are stranded.
3. Avoid Hiding Under a Tunnel
When you move out of your car, the worst place to hide is in a tunnel or bridge. These structures lack four walls to protect you from the swirling winds. Staying under the bridges heightens the chances of being injured by a tornado.
4. Stay Informed
It would help if you stayed updated to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side when the weather looks bad. Turn on your radio and look for a weather update station in your locality. Another way is by signing up for weather alerts on your phone, where some have apps.
Other weather information sources include Tornado by the American Red Cross, which rings an alarm when a tornado warning is issued. The Weather Channel provides information on weather alerts with its interactive Radar feature.
Signs of a Tornado
Some common signs and clues that a tornado is approaching include:
- A funnel-shaped cloud that rotates and extends from a thunderstorm towards the ground.
- Cloud of debris on the ground
- The sky color changes
- Debris falling from the sky
- A heavy roar.
- Heavy rains and large hail, and a sudden wind shift.
Tornadoes are categorized into three broad groups determined by their effects and wind speed.
The weak ones, EF0 and EF1, have wind speeds between 65 and 110mph. Strong tornadoes EF2 and EF3 wind speeds are between 111 and 165mph, with the strongest ones EF4 and EF5 at 166 to 200mph and above.
Are Tornadoes Common in New York?
Tornadoes occasionally happen in New York. They occur mostly in the southern and Midwest of the U.S. during summer and spring. The most powerful Tornado that hit New York was an F4 that happened in 1973 in Columbia County and then moved to Massachusetts. An EF-2 tornado hit Brooklyn in 2007, skipping approximately 9 miles from Staten Island, and caused massive property damage.
What Should I Do if a Tornado Happens When I am at Home?
Ensure you aren’t close to the windows since the wind can shatter the windows, and you might get hurt.
The basement or storm shelter is a very safe hideout during tornadoes and if possible, ensure you get to the innermost room.
Put on your shoes since the wind might get worse, and you might need to walk on the ground full of glass shards, nails, or wood that could harm your feet. Your bike helmet will help greatly shield your head against flying objects as you run to a safer area.
Your pets need s, and leaving them won’t be a nice idea. Ensure they are on their leash or crates. Don’t try to drive since the tornadoes will harm you badly.
Should I Get in a Ditch During a tornado?
A ditch is an alternative when you can’t find an alternative shelter instead of staying in your car that can easily get overturned by the strong tornado winds. Lie flat and cover your head with what’s available until the storm calms down.
What is One of the Worst Places to Take Shelter if You Experience a Tornado?
Long-span buildings and near windows are the least you can be during a tornado. The walls of tall buildings are supported by the outside wall and are on the verge of collapsing when strong tornado winds hit the building.
Mobile homes are also dangerous since they can easily flip and toss with a strong tornado. Never hide on the highway overpass since it functions as a wind tunnel and experiences stronger and more debris flying through it.
How Do You Tell if a Tornado is Coming at Night?
The sky changes to green or yellow clouds with a whistling and rumbling sound. You may notice a funnel at the base of the thunderstorm, not to mention the heavy rains and hail. If driving at night, the best option is to pull off.
How Fast Do Tornadoes Move?
Tornado movement can be slow, near stationary, and very fast. You can’t tell the strength and the impact of the destruction of a tornado by just looking at its shape and size. These tornadoes change their intensity very fast, and you shouldn’t be tempted to go close to them since that could be your last moment to breathe.
The winds can lift heavy objects such as machinery and automobiles from the ground and fly away light objects many miles from their original position.
Tornadoes are dangerous, and you wouldn’t like to experience them in your car even with the best defensive driving skills. Please stay informed about storms and tornadoes to avoid them from catching up with you when driving. Run to a shelter; your life is more important than your car. Additionally, ensure you go to a low-level ground and lie down, covering your head for safety. Moreover, apply the tornado driving safety mentioned above if you were to come across one.