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As the worst season of tornadoes approaches, here’s how to stay safe on the road:

Editor’s Note: The Weather Channel recently said, “… weather history shows that April, May, and June are the months with the most tornadoes and the most intense tornadoes. In the United States, 2000-2019. The average annual number of tornadoes to the year is 1,234. 54% of these tornadoes occurred from April to June. The most tornadoes usually occur in May, with an average of 281. This is followed by 6. An average of 196 and 194 tornadoes occur each month and April, respectively. ”This article from the Truckers News archive was first published on She Drives last June, and its advice is the most stormy. It’s as relevant and important as it is today when the season begins.


Tornadoes pose a serious danger to those caught in the path, but truck drivers, in particular, are always on the road and can find it difficult to find shelter in time. Much safer is to stay off the road until bad weather is over, but tornadoes are unpredictable and driving schedules are tight, so it’s essential to know how to stay safe in such situations.

Understanding the tornadoes and the weather conditions in which they appear is the first step towards safety at the height of the tornado season. Different regions have different peak seasons to keep in mind when traveling.

“Once you know which time of the year is most preferable, you will see signs of heavy rain, heavy rain, gusts, hail, etc. This shows that thunderstorms are very important. That storm that causes a tornado, “said John de Brock, a warning-coordinating meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Keep track of the weather before driving, listen to local radio or NOAA weather radio, and always check along the route to warn of tornado clocks and warnings.

“I think some of the tracker’s radios have that band there. They can hear what the nearest NOAA weather radio transmitter is broadcasting,” DeBlock said. I am. He also recommended avoiding listening to internet radio that does not sound local weather alerts.

De Block also said there are social media tags that truckers can follow to receive notifications and alerts about tornadoes and other bad weather. Drivers need to know the name of each county along the route, as alerts are displayed in counties rather than cities.

There are two signals to listen to, a tornado clock and a tornado warning, and there is an easy way to distinguish one from the other.

  • Tornado clock This means that the situation in the area is favorable to the formation of the tornado. That is, the driver needs to “watch” things get worse.
  • Tornado warning It means that it was discovered in that area. That is, the driver is “warned” about the imminent danger.

If possible, truck drivers should postpone driving until the weather clears. Company drivers need to contact the appropriate personnel to see who is monitoring the weather conditions and what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the driver on the road.

NOAA or local radio provides important and timely updates, but the sky is a true indicator. During the day, the tornado may not have a funnel, so you will see a strong, constant rotation at the cloud base, looking for dust and debris to swirl under the cloud base. Unlike thunder, which disappears after a few seconds, loud and continuous rumblings, followed by heavy rains and hail, sudden calms and rapid and violent wind changes are also signs of a tornado.

At night, the tornado becomes less visible, so in addition to voice cues, look for bright flashes on the ground near thunderstorms. These show that incredibly strong winds are cutting power lines. Flash is different from lighting in the clouds. Lightning illuminates the cloud base and indicates whether it is continuously declining, which is also useful for monitoring tornado signs.

Drivers should look for shelter as soon as these signs are found.

FEMA’s storm cellars and well-built buildings, such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and rest areas, are good places to stay. Drivers can use the online map service to find out the location of the shelter before leaving the road. If the building does not have a wind shelter, the bottom-level indoor room away from windows, doors and walls is a workaround.

“Usually, those fixing systems aren’t strong enough to withstand a tornado, so you should try to avoid manufactured housing structures,” says DeBlock.

According to De Block, if no other safer shelter is available, there are two worst-case options. The first is to stay on the truck and crouch low on the floor to prevent the glass from falling. The second is to get off the truck, enter the bottom of the ditch and cover your head. He said driving at a right angle might also allow him to move away from the tornado that he sees in the distance.

Elevated roads are not a safe place to evacuate in the event of a tornado. Many of these structures are built without girders that provide all types of crawl space, and in areas above the actual ground, people are more susceptible to higher wind speeds and more scattered debris. Become. In addition, overpasses create a tunneling effect due to the wind, increasing speed. If the tornado passes overpass directly on its path, the wind direction can change 180 degrees as the vortex passes.

“Don’t park under the overpass. This is a constrained area where the wind actually blows faster under the overpass. In addition, when people park under the overpass, it blocks traffic and is the first in response to a storm. It can interfere with responders, “said DeBlock.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for emergency kits such as masks and hand sanitizers, but tornadoes are a far more current threat than illness, and De Block has reduced social distance. Finding a shelter with others is more important.

“Basically, we handle the most serious dangers first, and if we have the option to protect ourselves from the secondary danger of being in a cooler box with a person without wearing a mask or gloves. Surely exercise them if it’s safe. It’s great if you can do everything safely. Otherwise, the first thing you should do is protect yourself from the tornado, Then try to stay as socially distant as you can, “Debrock said.

The emergency kit should come in one or two containers that are convenient to carry, such as a duffel bag. Place the item in an airtight plastic bag before packing it in the entire container. Some important items to include are non-perishable food and water, first aid kits and weather radios that will last an individual for three days.

For more tips on tornado safety, please visit: Or

As the worst season of tornadoes approaches, here’s how to stay safe on the road: As the worst season of tornadoes approaches, here’s how to stay safe on the road:

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