Two years ago today, a devastating tornado hit Joplin, MO. This EF5 tornado took over 100 lives, injured thousands and caused billions of dollars in damage in less than an hour. And earlier this week, a tornado similar in severity ravaged Moore, OK. While it’s rare to see a tornado as fierce as these, tornadoes threaten every state in the U.S. —including Colorado. In fact, according to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, Colorado has the 9th highest frequency of tornadoes in the U.S., and NOAA reports that between 1953 and 2004 Colorado experienced an average of 22 tornadoes per year.
Tornadoes often strike with little to no warning and are some the most violent storms found in nature, making preparation extremely important. So, this summer, in remembrance of those who lost their lives, loved-ones, homes and livelihoods in Joplin and Moore, let’s vow to make our own families and communities more prepared for tornadoes. If you'd like to learn more about the relief effort in Oklahoma or to donate to the cause, visit http://www.redcross.org/news/press-release/Red-Cross-Ramps-Up-Relief-Efforts-in-Oklahoma to learn more.
Here are some resources and tips to that can help you and your loved ones get started:
1. Download the Red Cross Tornado App
This cool new app, available for both Apple and Android users, allows you to have severe weather/tornado updates, alerts and preparedness tips right at your fingertips. Visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/tornado and click the link on the right or search for the app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store to learn more.
2. Check out the Red Cross tornado preparedness page
Learn how to get your family tornado ready at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/tornado. This page has lots of great information to help you before, during and after a tornado, including tips on finding tornado shelter in various scenarios. Visit the Disaster & Safety Library at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster-safety-library to access a Tornado Safety Checklist.
3. Learn some Colorado tornado history
Visit the Colorado Office of Emergency Management blog to learn about some notable Colorado tornadoes like the 2007 Holly twister that hid from weather radars. Click the link to see the full story: http://www.coemergency.com/2010/03/colorado-tornado-history.html.
4. Learn the science behind tornadoes
Visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/tstorms/tornado.htm to learn about the EF scale for tornado severity as well as other interesting science behind tornadoes. Explore the rest of the site to learn the science behind thunderstorms and the other hazards that they bring.
5. Check out the Weather Channel Video “Safest Place During a Tornado”
This entertaining video not only tells you, but shows you why some places in your home are unsafe during a tornado. Visit http://www.weather.com/video/safest-place-during-tornado-35477 to view this, and other, tornado safety videos.