NH Tornado Safety Tips

Written by on 7/1/2013 12:56 PM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Though NH is hardly tornado alley, the frequency of tornadoes within New Hampshire appears to be increasing.  This is apparent with the tornado warning issued earlier today by the National Weather Service.

New Hampshire residents are well versed in how to prepare for a 'Nor Easter or even a hurricane or two, but a twister may be unfamiliar territory.  To ensure you and your family are safe, take a few moments to review the following safety information.

Tornado Warning vs. Tornado Watch

With the prevalence of cell phones and instant media alerts it is very easy to become complacent when a warning pops up to grab our attention. I think this mentality is even more commonplace in New England where we do not have many weather events that are nearly spontaneous, yet deadly.  Because of this, it is important to understand the difference between a tornado watch vs. a tornado warning.

According to the National Weather Service a tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form, but not definite.  At this time, you should be alert and ready to take shelter at any moment.  A tornado warning is the ultimate in severe warnings because it means that a tornado is either occurring or imminent based on radar.  You should take immediate cover if a tornado warning is issued.

What to Do in Preparation of a Tornado in NH

  • In preparation for any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed.  There is also a NOAA Weather app for many mobile devices; however that would need to rely on cell service that may not be reliable in a major storm.
  • Know your communities warning system.  Many communities are sending out an automated phone message, while others have a siren.
  • Pick a safe room in your home or work where people and pets can gather during a tornado.  This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor without windows.
  • Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged tree limbs.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants, or anything else that could become a projectile.

What to Do During a Tornado Warning in NH

  • Take shelter indoors if possible, preferably in a basement or in an interior first-floor room or hallway.
  • Avoid windows and seek additional protection by getting underneath a large solid piece of furniture
  • Avoid automobiles and mobile homes which provide very little protection from tornadoes.
  • If caught outside, lie flat in a ditch or other low ground and wait for storm to pass.

These are just a few of the safety tips to heed during a tornado watch or warning.  For a more detailed guide on how to prepare your home or business for a natural disaster, read a prior HPM blog titled Hurricane Sandy: How to Prepare Your Home or Business.  There is also a series of very informative videos produced by The Weather Channel that provide visual tips on what to do if in a car or building while a tornado strikes.

Stay safe!

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