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Preparing for Tornado Season in Tulsa

Tornadoes are unpredictable and extremely violent. Tulsa, Oklahoma has a long history with tornadoes, as does most of tornado alley, so living in Tulsa to moving to Tulsa means you need to be prepared. There are six categories of tornado ranging from an EF-0 to an EF-5. An EF-0 has wind speeds up to 85 miles per hour. An EF-1 has wind speeds up to 110 miles per hour. An EF-2 has wind speeds up to 135 miles per hour. An EF-3 has wind speeds up to 165 miles per hour. An EF-5 has wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour. And an EF-5 is anything above 200 miles per hour. With wind speeds up in the hundreds of miles per hour, and little to no warning as to when a tornado is coming, there is an extreme amount of danger involved. The best thing to do would be to have a plan of action that takes minutes to enact, for that is sometimes the only warning that is given.

All government agencies and activists say that the key is to have two things. The first being an emergency kit, and the second is a family communications plan. The basic and most important items that should be in an emergency kit include, first aid supplies, food, water, important papers, medical supplies, matches, candles, emergency batteries, hand cranked or solar powered radio, and items for personal hygiene and personal sanitation. Resdy.gov has a family communications plan that you can download to help in making an emergency plan. It basically consists of important phone numbers, a meeting spot, out of town contacts, work and school information, medical and insurance information. This helps ensure that even if everyone is separated, they can find their way back to each other.

There are typically some warning signs, like a dark, greenish sky, large hail, large, dark, low-lying clouds, and a loud roar similar to a freight train. When these warning signs are present, it is good to be prepared to take shelter. When a tornado watch is issued, it means that tornadoes are possible and to keep an eye out. When a tornado warning has been issues, it means that a tornado has been seen touching down within the area that was under the watch.

There are some tornado facts that could be beneficial in a time of emergency. Tornadoes can appear transparent until they pick up debris that can be seen. Tornadoes typically move in a southwest to northeast direction, but they have been known to move in any direction. The average speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but they have been known to be stationary and travel at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. They are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m., but have been known to occur at any time. And, finally, tornado season in the south is March to May, and in the north it starts a little bit later, and ends a little bit later.

Tornadoes are Mother Nature’s most violent storm. They pack a whole lot of deadly into spouts of rotating wind. Because we do not have the power to predict when they will occur, the only thing we can do to stay on top of them and be safe is to have an emergency plan and be prepared.