What you need to know to prepare for a tornado

Whether you're safe in your home or stuck on the road, the National Weather Service wants to make sure you know what to do in the case of a tornado.

Posted: Mar 4, 2021 6:35 AM

On August 10, 2020, 15 tornadoes were reported in Illinois. That's the most tornadoes the state has seen in a single day. Although they were considered "Weak," the damage was extensive.

There are three categories experts use to measure the severity of a tornado:
A weak tornado is less than 110 mph.
A strong tornado is between 110-167 mph.
A violent tornado is more than 167 mph.

Last year, Illinois experienced 43 weak tornadoes that resulted in two injuries and more than $2 million in property damage.

"The last thing we want people to do is to go around outside looking for it. We're curious by nature, we want to see the tornado in some cases. Some people go straight for the basement and that's what you should do," said Chris Miller.

Miller is the Acting Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, Illinois.
He said if you happen to be in a car when you receive a tornado warning, stop driving.

"We see so many videos and hear stories of people who just keep driving because they think it's farther away than what it really is. If it looks like it's coming toward you and you cannot get to a sturdy building in time, get as low as you possibly can away from your vehicle. Get into a ditch, a culvert, a ravine," said Miller.

A tornado watch means that one is likely to occur in your area in the next few hours. A tornado warning means one is hitting or is about to hit your area.

"Warnings, those are for smaller areas. Usually counties or even smaller, a portion of a county. If your town is listed as a town on the path or a town nearby, even if it's a few miles away, seek shelter from that storm," Miller said.

According to Miller, mobile homes and sheds are not sturdy shelters because, with enough wind, they can overturn.

If you don't have a basement, Miller suggests you go to the smallest room or hallway possible and stay away from windows and doors.
Then, get underneath something sturdy.

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Grant7072174
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Cass5826105
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