More on tornadoes:
|Photo Times files
Four of six waterspouts clustered over a three-mile area in lower Tampa Bay on June 26, 1964. The time was between 6:15 and 6:45.
The Tampa Bay area has its share of tornandoes every year. Here are some suggestions to prepare you for such an emergency.
Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish.
When a tornado WATCH is issued:
When a tornado WARNING is issued:
Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged area.
Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
Do not use candles at any time.
Leave the windows alone when a tornado may be coming. It's a myth that tornadoes cause houses to explode due to changes in air pressure.
Anywhere in a low place in the home is safe. The southwest corner of the basement is just as safe as any other corner, or middle, of the basement. The best place to be is away from all windows.
Tornadoes can happen anywhere, including California and other states in the continental U.S. Tornadoes don't just happen in "Tornado Alley".
Tornadoes cause a lot of debris to be blown around and you can be hurt by this debris. Getting under a highway overpass is NOT safe.
Tornadoes do not "suck" houses, cars, cows, or people up into the funnel. Their strong winds, however, can blow large objects, including cars, hundreds of feet away.
Source: American Red Cross
Times photo by SCOTT KEELER
© Copyright 1998 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.