Tornados are one of the most common natural disasters in the United States behind flooding and there are many examples within United States history where tornados were responsible for ruining entire cities. There is a specific place that tornados seem to hit more than anywhere else. “Tornado Alley” in the mid-western area of the United States is located between Oklahoma, Kansas and the northern region of Texas and is known for the various amounts of tornados that rip through this area during the deemed “tornado season” through March to June. The photo below shows what the “Tornado Alley” looks like and why it causes so many tornados yearly.
One of the deadliest tornados in United States history is the “Tri-State Tornado,” which traveled through Missouri and Indiana in 1925. It was rated at a F5, which is the highest ranking that a tornado can be labeled. It brought on winds of 260-plus mph and killed 695 people. This is just one of the major tornados that rips through the mid-western region every year. The image below shows the activity of tornados in the United States and you can see from the legend, that many of the mid-western region with states like Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky are hugely affected by tornados, while the Western region of the United States is hardly touched.
Though this is a horrible instance and these are things we hope to never see happen, unfortunately mother nature is not something that we can control. It is our job to protect ourselves and our loved ones in times like this, but we also hope that the government steps in and helps us as needed. It is important to create a plan for natural disasters like this so when they do arise, the public already knows the plan and can be prepared for it. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), planning for a tornado includes identifying a place to take shelter, making sure the community has a warning system, and accounting for individuals in buildings (such as schools and office buildings). They have also insured tornado warnings and tornado watches, a watch means there is a tornado likely going to occur and a warning means that there has been a tornado sighted. The image below shows the amount of tornados that happen each year in the United States from 1991-2010. Though it is a little older you can see that there is a much larger number in the mid-west region than anywhere else.
I think one of the best ways to stay safe from instances like this are always staying prepared and knowing that tornado season is from March-June, it is the job of places like OSHA, FEMA, and American Red Cross to also prepare the best that they can. This may mean running a special program before March to inform people of how to be safe when tornado season hits. Teaching families about how to keep the entire family safe in a natural disaster. Some fire stations throughout the US have program where they will travel to a group of homes and show families how to escape fire from their home, if there could be a similar process to deal with tornados in the same way it would help others understand altogether what they should do in a natural disaster. They could teach them what to do when they hear the siren until actually taking cover when the tornado is coming.
These things will help prevent more casualties and natural disasters taking lives, though we cannot predict when they will happen we can try our hardest to take action prior to it getting here.