Do you remember the deadly tornado that ripped through north Minneapolis two years ago? You may think that Minnesota is not like the Kansas and Texas tornado states. Did you know that Minnesota leads the nation in annual tornado reports? In 2010 we had 113 tornado reports. The second closes state was Texas with 87 reported tornadoes. Minnesota averages 45 tornadoes per year!
The week of April 15th, is Tornado Awareness week.
Here are some suggestions for making your family and Lakeville home safe from the dangers of tornadoes.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
For general preparations, you should make sure your emergency point of contact and phone numbers are current for work and children’s schools. Also add the police and fire departments, hospital, vet and your insurance company to a list of emergency telephone numbers.
Talk the time to talk with your family about various scenarios that could occur with a tornado. What is your family plan? How will you keep in contact with each other? How will you move to the safest place in the event of a tornado? Where is the safest place in your home?
Do you have supplies set aside some place in your home? These would include bottled water, batteries, a radio and a charged cell phone. If a tornado strikes it could be 48-72 hours before electricity is restored. In the north Minneapolis situation, travel in and out of the area was not allowed for several days.
Injuries may result from the direct impact of a tornado or they may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries are suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion.
If you would like more information on ways to protect your family during a tornado emergency, click here for a helpful Emergency Kit from At&T.
A family conversation over the supper table about how to react in a tornado or several weather situation could prevent injuries and the stress that comes from severe weather that is a frequent visitor in Minnesota. Talk it over and be safe!