Posts Tagged ‘disaster drills’

How Do Tornadoes Work?

May 10, 2011

Tornadoes destroy homes and scar the earth.  They can reach speeds of up to 318 miles per hour and measure miles across.  These vicious storms are a crazy sight to see, but how do they work?  Tornadoes develop out of thunderstorms, but it takes a special type of thunderstorm to produce a tornado.  These storms are called supercell thunderstorms, which produce strong updrafts.

Given the number of tornadoes that have struck the United States months before tornado season usually begins, let's step back and understand how these storm systems work.If the updraft is strong enough, a vortex of air can develop.  When the updraft of the storm strengthens, the horizontal rotating air can be tilted into the vertical, with the help of inflow winds.  The storm cloud’s base will lower and form a wall cloud if the rotating air is strong enough.  Should the air’s rotation strengthen further, a funnel cloud can form.  If the rotation remains strong and the funnel cloud eventually reaches the ground, a tornado is born.  Tornado warnings can be scary, but you should go to a safe place immediately, particularly a basement or an underground structure built to keep you safe from a tornado.  Make sure you prepare a disaster kit for you and your family months before tornado season starts.

Watch the video below to see the different types of tornadoes that can form.

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Taylor P.

Disaster Preparedness

March 28, 2011

There have been many disasters lately such as the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.  Disasters such as the aforementioned are hardly predicted accurately, which means it is our responsibility to be prepared at all times.  Precautions have been taught to us when we went to school or when we go to work, but for those who might have forgotten, I hope this refreshes your memory about the things you should and should not do in the event of a disaster.

Natural disasters can happen at any times.  Here are some ways you and your family can prepare for the next disaster.Things you should do to prepare for a disaster:

  • Stay calm.
  • Have all important documents (birth certificates, passports, social security cards, etc) pre-organized in a briefcase or backpack and ready to go.  See “Simplifying Your Financial Life” for more information.
  • Organize a safety kit including band aids, non-perishable food, water, disinfectant, an extra pair of clothing, an extra set of keys, and other necessary toiletries.
  • Practice how to take cover for different types of disasters (e.g. in case of an earthquake, get under the nearest table or doorway and cover your head).
  • Come up with different safety plans for your family, including different escape routes and rendezvous points.
  • Write down any emergency numbers and keep them in your safety kit.  You might also consider purchasing an inexpensive, prepaid cell phone to keep in the kit, as well.

Things you should not do in case of a disaster:

  • Do not call 911.  Phone lines will be jammed during a disaster.
  • Do not rely solely on your cell phones for help.
  • Do not lose focus.
  • Do not run into places where there is more danger.

Disasters can be a frightening experience but it is always important to remain calm during any difficult situation, as hard as it may be.  Although there have been some predictions of future earthquakes, predictions are nothing to stress over.  Instead, take it as a warning to be prepared.  If you are prepared, there is nothing to be worried about.

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Joie Montoya