Step 1: Be Informed
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Do you know about different kinds of weather events and other unexpected situations? The words and terms you hear during emergencies can be confusing. Here’s an overview of the most common terms
Tornadoes are violent storms that come from powerful thunderstorms. They appear as a funnel- or cone-shaped cloud with winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour. They cause damage when they touch down on the ground. They can damage an area one mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornado season commonly occurs during the months of March through August, but they can occur at any time. They can happen in any state but are most commonly found in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas – an area of which is commonly called “Tornado Alley”.
Important Terms To Know: Tornado Watch — Tornadoes are possible. Stay tuned to the radio or television news. Tornado Warning — A tornado has been sighted. Take shelter immediately!
Flooding happens during heavy rains, when rivers overflow, when ocean waves come onshore, when snow melts too fast or when dams or levees break. This is the most common natural weather event and can happen in every U.S. state. Flooding may be only a few inches of water or it may cover a house to the rooftop. Floods that happen very quickly are called flashfloods. It can happen in every U.S. state and territory. Stay as far away from flood water as you can. Moving flood water can be dangerous because it can knock you off your feet. And any type of flood water can be contaminated, meaning it can contain dangerous substances. The word “flood” comes from Old English and means “a flowing of water, river or sea.”
Important Terms To Know:
- Flood Watch or Flashflood Watch — Flooding may happen soon. Stay tuned to the radio or television news for more information. If you hear a flashflood warning, talk to an adult immediately!
- Flood Warning — You may be asked to leave the area. A flood may be happening or will be very soon. Tell an adult if you hear a flood warning.
- If you have to leave the area, remember to bring your Disaster Supply Kit and make arrangements for your pets.
- Flashflood Warning — A flashflood is happening. Get to high ground right away. Tell an adult!
Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters.
Evaporation from the seawater increases their power. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an “eye.” Hurricanes have winds at least 74 miles per hour.
When hurricanes come onto land, their heavy rain, strong winds and large waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surges are very dangerous and it is important to take shelter during a hurricane and listen to the television or radio for instructions. “Hurricane” comes from the Spanish word huracan.
Courtesy of Ready.Gov