Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tornado Season is Here!

Many preppers often fall victim to preparing for the most unlikely SHTF events.  While being ready for everything that is possible is a good idea, sometimes we can forget about the dangerous situations that happen on an unfortunately regular basis. 

Mother nature is perhaps the biggest culprit for disasters in Canada.  Within the past month, Canadians have been witness to heat waves, tropical storms, and tornados.  Weather can kill.  In Quebec, as many as 70 deaths can be atributed to the recent heat wave.  In Montreal, heat related deaths were so relevant that the citys morgue had to partner with a funeral home to store bodies as they became overcrowded.  Newfoundland is now preparing for its second tropical storm hit this month and recently, Saskatchewan exNewfoundland is now preparing for its second tropical storm hit this month.erienced 9 tornados in a 2 day span.

Tornados have hit Canada coast to coast from BC to NB and although the peak season is June and July, tornados have been know to form from January to November, with higher frequency from April to October.  This map from shows the range and frequency in detail.
The assumption that tornados in Canada are usually EF0 or EF1 in intensity has some basis in fact, however an EF5 hit Elie, Manitoba just 11 years ago, proving that anything is possible!

The best way to be informed of a possible tornado is to have a weatherradio set equiped with  SAME technology. SAME (specific area message encoding) will alert users within counties that they program in.  Over 90% of Canadians live within range of a weatherradio transmitter and the service is active 24/7.

Spotting the warning signs of a possible tornado is not difficult when you know what to look for:

  • high frequency of in cloud lightning
  • dark, greenish sky
  • calm after a thunderstorm
  • rotation within cloud formations
  • large "bump" at the rear base of a dark storm cloud
  • funnel shaped formation in the cloud
  • continuous rumble
  • falling debris
Tornado watches and warnings are often confused.  A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado.  You should be alert to weather conditions and warning signs mentioned above and monitor NOAA weather stations if on the lookout and be ready!
A tornado warning is MUCH more serious.  A warning means that a tornado has begun to take shape.  Storm spotters may have reported seeing a tornado or weather conditions have deteriorated to the point that a tornado is imminent...take cover immediately!

The following is from

During a tornado

If you are in a house

  • Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or hallway.
  • If you have no basement, protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.
  • In all cases, stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.

If you live on a farm

  • Livestock hear and sense impending tornadoes. If your family or home is at risk, the livestock will be a non-issue. If your personal safety is not an issue, you may only have time to open routes of escape for your livestock. Open the gate, if you must, and then exit the area in a tangent direction away from the expected path of the twister.

If you are in an office or apartment building

  • Take shelter in an inner hallway or room, ideally in the basement or on the ground floor.
  • Do not use the elevator.
  • Stay away from windows.

If you are in a gymnasium, church or auditorium

  • Large buildings with wide-span roofs may collapse if a tornado hits.
  • If possible, find shelter in another building.
  • If you are in one of these buildings and cannot leave, take cover under a sturdy structure such as a table or desk.

Avoid cars and mobile homes

  • More than half of all deaths from tornadoes happen in mobile homes.
  • Find shelter elsewhere, preferably in a building with a strong foundation.
  • If no shelter is available, lie down in a ditch away from the car or mobile home. Beware of flooding from downpours and be prepared to move.

If you are driving

  • If you spot a tornado in the distance go to the nearest solid shelter.
  • If the tornado is close, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area, such as a ditch.

In all cases

  • Get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch for flying debris.
  • Do not chase tornadoes - they are unpredictable and can change course abruptly.
  • A tornado is deceptive. It may appear to be standing still but is, in fact, moving toward you.

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