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Importance of Survival Skills

The Only Proven Way to Survive a Tornado

The furious winds of a hurricane, impenetrable
blizzards, or the stifling heat of a drought – these are horrible manifestations of nature’s
wrath – also known as Bad Weather! But not many of them can compare to the fastest
winds in the world. Whirling up high, turning fields into wastelands,
tearing trees out from the ground, and ruining towns – that’s right: tornados. More Bad Weather. Still, survivalists say that anyone can prepare
for a twister! So let’s find out how to survive a tornado! The first and most important thing any experienced
weatherman, survivalist or tornado chaser will tell you is you need to know what you’re
dealing with. Without a clear understanding of what exactly
a tornado is, every other tip or piece of advice has a good chance to fall flat and
do no good after all. A tornado can emerge even when there’s no
storm or rain. It comes without knocking; and its formation
is sudden and quick. It might take only a few minutes before a
tornado starts to wreak havoc upon everything in its path. Most of the time they appear in the summer
when the ground is heated and the upper parts of the atmosphere are influenced by cold winds
brought on by thunderstorm supercells. The hot air tends to produce updrafts – an
ascending stream of warm air. At the same time, thunderstorms bring rain
and a descending stream of cold air called a downdraft. As you can imagine, these two rapid airstreams
colliding with each other isn’t a great thing for anyone. Warm air can’t flow higher up and cold air
can’t go lower. The force of their collision creates a spinning
wall cloud right below the level of the parenting storm. With time, both the updraft and the downdraft
become stronger and stronger. It eventually produces a vertical column of
spinning air that starts to suck debris from the ground like a giant drain. This is when the funnel of a tornado appears
from the spinning wall cloud. It makes its way down from the cloud to the
ground as if the storm itself tries to suck up the earth with a long weird snout. And it won’t shy away from taking everything
for a ride. The force of the thing is immense. Just try to imagine: a tornado can be up to
2 miles in diameter. The wind speed sometimes surpasses 300 mph,
and the speed of the funnel itself traversing the land is somewhere between 25 to 40 mph;
but in some cases, it can reach 70 mph. You wouldn’t want to race with something
like that, and it’s certainly not a welcome guest in your back yard. But what can you do to avoid meeting a twister? The main way to assure your safety is to be
aware of your surroundings, and plan in case a tornado comes your way. Most tornadoes happen in a warmer time of
year, and their favorite place on Earth must be the US. In fact, there’s even a term: ‘Tornado
Alley’, which includes most of the Southeastern and Midwestern parts of the country. But don’t think that you’re safe outside
of these regions! Believe it or not, tornadoes have appeared
in the middle of winter, and in the least obvious places. Meteorologists are still working hard on gaining
more knowledge about tornadoes and the origins of their formation. Considering a warning is your best chance
at survival, it’s a good thing they figured out how to predict them for the most part. And more than that, you too could become a
tornado spotter. These are specially trained people that can
detect the very first signs of a storm that can produce a tornado. There are more than 230,000 of these vigilant
storm-watchers across the US. Their main task is to see if the storm is
a supercell producing a wall cloud. They’re not really hard to see: it looks
like a giant bulge in the cloud base that starts to spin as an updraft from the ground
strikes it. The moment they see a wall cloud starting
to split into bands called ‘beaver tales’, they know that they’re looking at the birth
of a tornado. But how do they know which way to look? This is where technology comes into play. Meteorologists use weather radar, which is
based on the Pulse-Doppler method. Pulse-Doppler radars can detect raindrops
and effectively calculate the distance to them and their velocity. Based on that information, meteorologists
can form a full picture of changes in the weather. The same radars can detect rotation in storm
clouds from more than 160 miles away. When observers confirm the first signs of
upcoming tornadoes, the emergency warning will immediately go off. You would need to sit in a bunker to miss
this one, because it’ll be literally everywhere. Speaking of bunkers, you would probably be
glad to have one nearby, or at your own disposal, if you’re about to weather something like
an F-3 category tornado. And there are 6 of these categories, so you
can imagine what you’re up against with anything stronger than an F-3. If you still can’t, here’s a quick rundown
for you. An F-0 tornado is more like a landspout – it
won’t cause any significant damage. To be safe you would need to just trim the
tree branches closest to your windows so they won’t break them. Otherwise, your home is your castle. An F-1 tornado, with wind speeds up to 110
mph, is more of a concern. Hope you don’t live in a mobile home; and
if you do – find another place to hide. Tornadoes this strong can easily push a mobile
home off its foundation. An F-2 tornado can tear small trees out from
the ground. Any mobile home would be destroyed by it. Even the roofs of well-constructed houses
will partially crumble under the furious wind, blowing at 160mph. An F-3 tornado is where the real trouble begins. The wind speed can get up to 205 mph. All the upper parts of houses are in danger,
and any debris caught by the wind become lethal weapons. These tornadoes can lift cars and break brick
walls. F-4 and F-5 tornadoes are the rarest, but
also the most dangerous. If you ever hear that something like that
is coming your way – it’s best to find a bunker, safe room, or an underground shelter
nearby. These monstrosities can make buildings literally
come off the ground, and cars fly in the air for 300 ft. Fortunately, there are a lot of shelters that
are specifically built to protect anyone from tornadoes and storms; and you don’t really
need to have a personal one for yourself. But what would be nice to have is an emergency
kit, just in case. The most useful things for a survival kit
would be rain gear, flares, a radio, a first-aid kit, an air horn, a flashlight with some extra
batteries, a mechanical can opener, at least 3 gallons of water per person, a stock of
ready to eat meals, and some walkie-talkies. Make a stash with all of that somewhere in
your house, and you’ll always be prepared. The worst-case scenario is if a tornado catches
you off guard. Imagine you’re driving a car and suddenly
a twister appears in front of you from a huge raincloud. What would you do then? The first thing that comes to mind is to just
turn around and drive away from it as fast as possible, but, that’s a poor choice of
actions. The best way to avoid a tornado in a car is
to figure out the direction it’s going and take a course about 90 degrees from this direction. But remember, if it is close to you – don’t
think that your car will protect you. It’s not only the wind that’s scary about
a tornado. More so are the debris that it spins around;
it could severely damage your car in a matter of seconds. It’s best to leave the car and stay as far
away from it as you can. In this worst-case scenario, your best option
is to find a ditch, lay low, and cover your head with any possible means. Still, any nearby building’s basement would
be a better hiding place, except the big ones. Shopping malls or cinemas could be extremely
dangerous if you want to hide from tornadoes. The myth that larger structures are safer
is just a myth. And that’s not the only myth about twisters. Telling them from the truth may be crucial
for surviving a disaster. One suggests that it’s better to open windows
during a tornado, and that’s as false as it gets. Wind going through open windows could lift
whole floors or a roof with ease! More than that – it’s important to leave
windows closed and to stay away from them until the whirlwind is no more. Another important misconception is that smaller
tornados are weaker and less dangerous. That’s also not true. A lot of F-4 tornadoes were no wider than
just 300 ft in diameter, but they did a ton of damage. Twisters aren’t stable, they change their
shapes constantly. So don’t just trust your eyes – all tornadoes
are equally dangerous. No matter how small or slow-looking a twister
is – try to not underestimate it, and always use every method of avoiding trouble. How about you? Have you ever seen a real tornado? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go flopping into
a ditch just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! And remember: Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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