Tornado season is here and it is important to take the proper precautions and learn about tornado safety before your trip. Follow the five tips below to help protect you and your family.
1. Educate yourself on tornado season
While tornadoes can strike at any time, it’s important to know when they’re most likely to occur.
Tornado season occurs between April and July which are the peak summer travel months. NOAA’s National Weather Service’s data shows that there were 555 tornadoes reported during those months. That is 52% of all 2016 U.S. tornadoes.i
According to The National Sever Storms Laboratory (NSSL), these dangerous storms are most likely to occur between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.ii
2. What areas are most prone to tornadoes?
The United States experiences about 1,200 tornadoes annually—four times the amount seen in Europe (NSSL)iii. While tornadoes can strike anywhere, certain areas are more prone than others.
‘Tornado Alley’ is a term coined for the area where tornadoes are most likely to occur (NOAA)iv. While this stretches all the way from Canada to north Texas, the most active areas include Oklahoma, Kansas and northern Texas.
You should also be careful if traveling to ‘Dixie Alley’ – the southern states most tornado-prone regions (NOAA)v. These include Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
3. Familiarize yourself with tornado safety tips
While it can be difficult to gather emergency supplies while traveling, it is important to have access to food and water, flashlights, batteries, and any medications you need.
If there is a tornado warning in your area, seek shelter indoors. The safest places include basements and first floor hallways or rooms, just be sure to avoid windows.
If you’re driving and there is enough distance between you and the tornado, it is suggested that you drive at a right angle away from it. If you are unable to get away in your car, seek a ditch or depression and keep your hands over your head. Do not seek shelter under an overpass as it can strengthen the tornado’s effects by creating a wind-tunnel.
4. Listen to the local news
When you’re traveling and you need updates on your current or upcoming destination, your best bet is tuning into the local news station or checking the news station’s website. No one will be covering the area’s storm closer.
5. Purchase travel insurance
Trip Cancellation and Interruption benefits cover you if:
- your home is made uninhabitable by a tornado
- your destination is made uninhabitable by a tornado
- mandatory evacuation ordered by local authorities at your destination due to tornado
Trip Delay benefit covers you if:
- a tornado or closure of public roadways is issued by government authorities
Travelex Insurance Services plans are underwritten by Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio; NAIC #10952. Travel Assistance & Concierge Services are provided by the designated provider as listed in the Description of Coverage. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions of the insurance plan, please refer to the applicable Description of Coverage and/or Group Certificate/Individual Policy. 1814599
i. NOAA National Weather Service
ii. The National Severe Storms Laboratory
iii. The National Severe Storms Laboratory
iv. NOAA National Weather Service
v. NOAA National Weather Service