Pages

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Canada's Tornado Season Is On The Horizon

We have probably all heard about the recent destruction by tornadoes in the US, but how many of us consider this danger at home? One may think that worrying about tornadoes here in Canada is absurd, but let's check some data on the issue. Accuweather.com shows tornado activity from BC in the west all the way to NB in the east. Of course, some provinces have a higher risk factor than others, mainly the prairies and a few hot spots in Ontario. On average, Canadians can expect around 10 tornadoes in May, 30 or more in June and July each, and somewhere around 15 in August. That's close to 85 tornadoes per 4 month season, worth considering as a danger if you happen to be in a prone area.

The biggest problem with a tornado is the lack of warning, thus eliminating the pre-storm bug out possibility. Of course, if you have transport, fuel, and a navigable escape route, you could get out of dodge for a few days after the storm, but likely, you will be staying put. Although exact prediction of a tornado is impossible, there are ways to be aware of the possibility. Environment Canada is responsible for Canada's tornado warning system and will issue warnings through radio, television, it's website, and phone lines. An NOAA weather radio should also issue warnings and watches. Here are a few warning signs of possible tornado strikes...

  • Severe thunderstorms, with frequent thunder and lightning
  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds
  • A rumbling sound or a whistling sound.
  • A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.
During severe thunderstorms, watch for clouds moving in a circular pattern. If you see any signs of a tornado approaching or have been notified of a tornado in your area, take the folowing precautions...

  • Take shelter in a basement or ground floor interior room. Ideally a room with no exterior walls, windows or doors.
  • If such a room is not available to you, take cover under a solid object such as a heavy table or desk.
  • if you are not at home, always take shelter in an interior room or hallway, on the ground floor, and stay away from windows and doors.
  • When outdoors, your main concern is flying debris. Keep low to the ground or hide out in a ditch. Cover your head and be aware of possible flash flooding. Do not stay in your car or chase the storm if you actually see a tornado, rather, take cover as soon as possible. Try to look for solid structures to take cover in.
As always, your emergency preparations are key. Let's face it, your local grocery store may not even be there anymore let alone being closed or out of supplies. Water and food for three days, as well as alternative cooking, heating, and lighting gear are essential. Kits for the home and car are easy to assemble and need not take up too much room in a closet or car trunk. Don't forget a good supply of first aid supplies and your other basic equipment.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Don't think it can't happen to you. I am 69 and had never had it happen to me, then last April we got hit and then again in December! It can happen to you. Heed the words of the Prepper. Whether you are in Geeorgia or Ontario, the outcome is the same...it isn't good.