Michigan averages 15 tornadoes each year. And although we’re in what is considered the last month of tornado season—which is typically from March to May—experts at AccuWeather forecast that May could be an especially dangerous month because of La Nina.
La Nina is a weather pattern that occurs when the Pacific Ocean’s water near the equator becomes cooler than usual. This affects the paths of storm systems.
Although you can’t control the path of a tornado, you and your family can be prepared for it.
Tornadoes are known to develop very quickly, and warnings may come an average of 10 to 15 minutes in advance of their presence. Winds can reach over 200 mph. Take warnings seriously, and heed the following recommendations set forth by the Red Cross.
Before It Strikes
Listen to your local area radio or TV stations to stay up to date with the latest information and weather changes. You can also tune in to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio.
Be sure to move to an underground shelter, a basement, or a safe room. If none of these options are available to you, your safest alternative is to go to a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building.
It’s important for you to know that no portion of a mobile home is safe during a tornado. If you can gain access to a sturdy shelter, go there right away—being sure to wear your seat belt if you’re driving to get there.
Identify an emergency shelter in your area, and make sure you determine the most efficient route to get there. It’s important to map out more than one way, if possible, in case your primary path becomes blocked during this severe weather event.