Tornado safety-swirling with tips you need to know

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:30 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Wyoming Severe Weather Awareness week continues and today’s topic is swirling with important tips, it’s all about tornadoes.

Tim Troutman, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist stated, “The important thing is to have as many walls between you and the high winds as possible. Know the direction the tornado’s coming to your location from, if it is approaching and try to meet those definite safety recommendations. Most people are hit by flying debris, so you want to cover your head.”

Since broken glass is a common issue, it’s important to get shoes on, if you have time to do so. Having a cell phone nearby is also helpful. The weather service says that if you call 911 with your location, they can warn other people that are about to be in the tornado path.

Those tips are for when you’re at home, but that’s not always the case. If you’re driving, there are different tips, both proactive and reactive.

“It’s important now from your normal drive home or drive into work or to school, have three or four or five locations along your normal route to get off the road at a moment’s notice. All it takes is 80 miles an hour worth of wind,” which Troutman adds that all tornadoes meet or exceed 80 miles an hour. Troutman adds, “that’s all it takes, 80 miles an hour or so, to lift up and toss your vehicle.”

Due to the uncertain direction of tornadoes, the National Weather Service does not recommend trying to outrun a tornado. It’s better to find a sturdy structure and to wait there, instead.

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