What is it?
A tornado is a mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.
What’s the Risk?
Tornadoes in Colorado are almost exclusively found on the eastern side of the Front Range. Tornadoes are formed during severe thunderstorms which develop in warm, moist unstable air. These thunderstorms often produce large hail and strong winds, and some ultimately produce tornadoes.
While tornadoes are less common along the Front Range than in Eastern Colorado, they can and do occur. In 2008, a mile-wide, F3 tornado struck Windsor, Colo., causing $193 million in damage.
How Should I Prepare?
When a tornado warning has been announced for your area: Take action to protect yourself
- Head to your basement if you have one.
- If you do not, find a small centrally located area in your home, such as a bathroom or closet.
- If you live in a trailer or mobile home you should have a pre-determined shelter location close to your home: DO NOT stay in your trailer or mobile home during a tornado warning.
- You also want to pre-determine your shelter locations for work and school. These shelters should be easily accessible in the event of a tornado warning.
- If you are driving, walking, or working out in open country, get out of your vehicle, find the lowest depression and lie flat, face down, covering your neck and head to protect yourself from debris.
After a Tornado
- Check family members, roommates, and neighbors for injuries.
- Stay away from damaged areas and look out for the smell of natural gas and fallen power lines.
- Listen to your battery-powered radio for information and instructions.
- Use a battery-powered flashlight to inspect your home only after you’ve determined that it’s safe. Things to look for:
- Major Structural Damage
- Smell of Natural Gas
- Sparking Power Lines