Don’t Wait Until A Tornado Warning!

Tornadoes are a fast-moving, destructive, and potentially deadly force of nature. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air, which extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. They can have wind speeds of up to 300 MPH, and their damage path can be anywhere from a few blocks to 50 miles. In the United States, there are around 1,179 tornadoes per year, with around 227 deaths. Tornadoes are most common in the Midwestern and plains states, like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. However, they can also occur in Florida.

Warning Signs

The warning signs of a tornado can include:

  • Dark, often greenish or discolored clouds
  • A cloud of debris
  • Large hail
  • Wall clouds – these are large, wall-like packs of clouds that form at the base of a thunderstorm
  • Funnel-shaped clouds
  • A loud, roaring sound

Since tornadoes move quickly, you need to have an emergency plan in place. Do not wait until a tornado warning to start thinking about what you need to do.


Prior to a tornado, prepare your home. If you are expecting bad weather, prepare by removing any damaged limbs from trees, and by securing or moving any outdoor lawn furniture or hanging plants. During a tornado, fallen tree limbs or other outdoor objects could become projectiles, leading to damage or injury.

You should designate a shelter zone in your house. If you have a cellar, basement, or storm shelter, that is ideal. Otherwise, find an interior, windowless room, like a bathroom, closest, or inner hallway. If you live in a mobile home, be aware that they are very vulnerable to being overturned during tornadoes — locate a nearby shelter in advance, and go there immediately if a tornado warning has been issued.


Sometimes, even if you are prepared, you might be caught outside during a tornado. If you are in your car, stay in the car, and keep your seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, and cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or any other material available. If you can, drive to the nearest shelter. Do not try to outrun a tornado. Stop driving if any debris hits your car.

If you are outside without a car, find a ditch or other low space, and cover your head. The safest place to be during a tornado is inside a secure area or shelter. This is why it is incredibly important to pay attention to any storm warnings, as they could prevent you from getting stuck outside. Remember, wind from tornadoes can go up to 300 MPH — you do not want to be outside during that!

Tornadoes are violent and unpredictable, but preparation helps. If you have a plan in place before a tornado hits, your chances of injury are decreased.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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