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What are tornados and how to survive them

A tornado is a violent and dangerous windstorm characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can occur anywhere, but they are most common in the United States, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast.

Tornadoes form when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with dry, cool air from Canada, this creates an unstable atmosphere that can lead to the formation of thunderstorms. If the conditions are just right, a tornado can form when the storm's updraft (rising air) becomes so strong that it starts to rotate. This rotation causes the cloud to take on a funnel shape, and as the funnel descends toward the ground, it becomes a tornado.

Tornadoes can range in size and intensity, but they can be extremely destructive, with wind speeds reaching up to 300 mph. They can destroy homes and buildings, uproot trees, and cause widespread damage to infrastructure. Tornadoes can also be deadly, as they can cause injuries and fatalities due to flying debris and collapsing buildings.

Here are some tips on how to survive a tornado:

  1. Know the signs of a tornado. Pay attention to weather reports and alerts, and be on the lookout for dark, low-lying clouds, a greenish sky, and a loud roar or whistling sound.

  2. Have a plan in place. Make sure you and your family know where to go in the event of a tornado. The safest place is usually a basement or storm shelter. If you don't have access to one of these, go to an interior room on the lowest floor of your home, away from windows.

  3. Gather supplies. Keep a supply of non-perishable food, water, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio in a designated area so you can quickly access them if a tornado strikes.

  4. Stay informed. Listen to local news or weather radio for updates and instructions from emergency officials.

  5. Take shelter. If you are caught outside when a tornado strikes, seek shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch or culvert. If you can't find one, get inside a nearby building or find a sturdy object to take cover under.

  6. Protect yourself. If you are inside, cover your head and neck with a pillow, blanket, or other objects to protect yourself from flying debris.

  7. Stay put. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car. If you are driving and see a tornado, pull over and find a sturdy building or low-lying area to take shelter in.

  8. Stay calm. Tornadoes can be frightening, but try to remain calm and focused. Follow the steps above and listen to the instructions of emergency officials to help ensure your safety.

Following these tips can increase your chances of surviving a tornado. Remember, the most important thing is to listen to your local authorities and take the necessary precautions to be prepared for the possibility of a tornado strike.

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