Before a Tornado
Tornadoes are known for developing rapidly, with little advanced warning. The average lead time for a tornado warning is 10 to 15 minutes, which is why Michigan residents are encouraged to prepare and make a plan before a tornado strikes. To be ready before a tornado:
Create an emergency preparedness kit for your home that includes the following items:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day,
for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of
Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather
Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Infant formula and diapers (if applicable)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
for personal sanitation
Dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Develop and implement a family communications plan with family members living in your home so, when a tornado strikes, you know how to get to a safe place. Be sure the plan also addresses the following:
Where you will meet up if separated?
How you will contact each other?
What would you do in different situations?
Listen to your NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. Listen to instructions given by local emergency management and first responder officials.
Be aware of the danger signs indicating a tornado:
Dark, often greenish sky
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train
If you see approaching storms or any of these signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately
Did You Know?
On average, Michigan has 15 tornadoes a year.
The National Weather Service reported 15 confirmed tornadoes in the state of Michigan in 2018. Since 1950, 1,049 tornadoes have been reported in the state of Michigan, resulting in substantial loss of life and property.