Do not try to outrun a tornado. You won't win.
That's just one of the safety tips offered by the National Weather Service, which is raising awareness this week about weather hazards in Florida, including tornadoes.
Here are some safety precautions to take in the event of a tornado:
- Abandon mobile homes for a pre-determined sturdy building nearby.
- In buildings, move to an interior room on the lowest floor, away from windows. Get under a piece of heavy furniture and cover your head with pillows or cushions.
- Abandon vehicles and seek refuge in a sturdy building. Do not try and outrun a tornado.
- In open country, seek safety in a sturdy building if time permits. If not, lie flat in the nearest ditch and cover your head with your arms.
According to the NWS:
- Violent tornadoes can level a city block in a matter of seconds. While most people don't consider Florida a tornado prone state, whoever since 1970 more than 2,600 tornadoes have been reported in the state.
Tornadoes tend to form when rapidly rising air in a thunderstorm updraft
combines with an increase in wind speed or a change in wind direction known as
shear. The larger the shear, the greater the rotation and thus the better
chance a tornado will form.