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Tornado Watches, Warnings and Damage: What You Need to Know

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Summer is coming to an end, but as we move into fall, we still have to be prepared for severe weather and tornadoes. According to Environment Canada, there is an average of 80 tornadoes each year in Canada and most of them occur between May and September.

Tornadoes can last for a few minutes to a few hours and the results can be devastating. The strongest tornadoes are classified as F5 and can reach speeds of over 500 km/h.

Preparing for tornadoes

There is nothing that can stop a F5 tornado, but much of the damage is caused by the high winds and flying debris. Invest in strong doors that can withstand high winds, shutter windows and stay inside. Listen to a battery-powered radio for tornado watches and warnings:

Tornado Watch: When conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms with one or more tornadoes.

If there is a tornado watch, stay aware of the storm by listening to news reports and watching out the window.

Tornado Warning: When a tornado has been reported.

If there is a tornado warning, go inside your home and stay in an inside room on the lowest level or inside a closet. Stay away from windows, skylights and doors.

If you are outside seek shelter immediately. Avoid buildings that have large unsupported roofs, such as barns or arenas. If you cannot get to shelter, lie flat in a ditch or other low lying area. Protect your head and neck with your arms.

Severe weather can happen at any time and although we can’t prevent it, we can take precautions that may lessen the damage and protect our families and our property.

For more information about Canada’s weather, visit Environment Canada’s site.

 

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