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
Travelex’s Travel Select protection plan provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption or trip delay due to a tornado.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption benefits cover you if:
- your home is made uninhabitable by a tornado
- your destination is made uninhabitable by a tornado
Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC # 22276. Travel Assistance & Concierge Services are provided by the designated provided listed in the Policy. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy.
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