What You Need to Know About Tornado Alley

What is Tornado Alley?

Tornado Alley is a section of the US where tornadoes are more frequently experienced due to combining of cold and warm air between mountain ranges. The definitions of Tornado Alley vary, but it’s generally agreed upon that across the central United States there is a greater probability for multiple yearly tornadoes, as well as more violent tornadoes than anywhere else.

“Although the official boundaries of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined, its core extends from northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, into Nebraska. Some research suggests that tornadoes are becoming more frequent in the northern parts of Tornado Alley where it reaches the Canadian prairies.” – Wikipedia

The name Tornado Alley was first used by Air Force meteorologists in 1952. While it was simply made as a title of a research project analyzing the severe weather that hit some parts of the country, the name stuck.

We like to think we’re prepared for all sorts of storms, but there’s not a whole lot you can do when a tornado hits. If you’ve ever experienced a tornado you know how destructive and dangerous they can be. So what are a few ways you can be prepared to handle them before, during, and after the damage?

Residents Within Tornado Alley’s Boundaries

Though we live in Ohio, we too can experience a higher number of tornadoes.

“In addition to the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas core, such areas include the Upper Midwest, the lower Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley and the lower Mississippi valley. Some studies suggest that there are also smaller tornado alleys located across the United States.” – Wikipedia 

Because of our proximity to Tornado Alley, and the regular tornadoes we experience, our building codes and practices can be different and more strict to support this natural phenomenon. Builders and restoration companies alike are required to understand and be able to follow these guidelines. According to Cleveland.com, in 2016 we experienced 25 tornadoes in one year! With this knowledge, it’s very important that you know how to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property.

How to Prepare for Tornado Alley

There’s not a lot you can do to really prepare for a tornado. They are so destructive that short of creating a storm shelter, all you can do is react. Here are a few things to do before a tornado:

  • Create a plan for when a tornado hits.
    • Include a safe place to take your family.
    • Bring things like water and quick meals (most tornadoes don’t last long enough to require supplies, but in the event of losing your home, you should be prepared).
    • Make sure you have storm insurance.
  • Remove any large, heavy items that could be lifted by a tornado and dropped onto your house from your yard.
    • This can be benches, trampolines, sheds, etc.
  • Storm-proof windows and garages so they are not easily blown in or ripped off your home.

Do some research about how best to prepare for a family of your size, and remember: you can never be too prepared for a natural disaster!

During a tornado things can get a little hairy. It’s important that you keep your cool and don’t forget the steps you need to take to be safe. During a tornado you should follow these steps:

  • Take all food and water supplies with you to your safe location.
    • Your safe location should NOT be a car, or something easily lifted like a shed.
    • Your safe location can be something as simple as a basement.
  • Wait for the tornado to end, but pay attention to the radio for news about its progression.
  • If you have any bike or working helmets put them on you and your family members.
  • Wait to call any loved ones until after the storm ends as they will be fairly busy during it, just like you.
  • Keep any pets on a leash or in an enclosed location with you in your safe place.
    • Animals are nervous with storms and will try to run.

Hopefully you will not have to deal with any tornadoes in your lifetime, and only minor ones if you do. You’ve seen the havoc they can wreak and no one wants to deal with a tree suddenly smashed through your entire living room. However, if you do experience a severe storm or tornado, you should follow these steps:

  • If the damage to your home and property is severe DO NOT enter as things could still be falling or on fire.
  • Immediately call a reliable restoration company and let them know your situation.
    • If the tornado damaged a lot of homes in your area it’s important to make this call quickly, then have a designated place to stay until the restoration company is able to perform your repairs.
  • Call your insurance company to let them know you will be filing a claim for repairs.
  • Await word from the restoration company to let you know when it’s safe to enter.
    • You may be able to return to the property after it is deemed safe to retrieve any personal items.

And that’s it! Once you’ve called your chosen restoration company you should feel comfortable in the knowledge that they will properly and effectively restore your property to pre-storm conditions. They will also handle all insurance information during this time.

Brock Restoration Can Handle All Storm & Tornado Damage

We hope that no one ever has to deal with heavy storm or tornado damage. No one wants their property to be damaged in this way, but such is life. Brock Restoration is entirely capable and experienced enough to deal with any and all property repairs. From roofing to flooring and everything in between we are your trusted reconstruction contractors. You can even just give us a call with any questions you might have. Stay safe out there in Tornado Alley!