It’s Tornado Season – Are You Prepared?
It’s kind of shocking when you think about it. With just 50 states in the U.S., that averages to 24 tornadoes per state. Of course, we all know that many states rarely witness tornadoes. In fact, Alaska has only witnessed 2 tornadoes in the past 66 years! Hawaii is another state that rarely sees them, experiencing just 39 in the last 66 years. But with these states and others experiencing very few tornadoes, that means that there are others that bear the brunt. The concentration lies in what has come to be known as Tornado Alley, which consists of the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Yet, many of the heartland states like Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Kentucky frequently endure Mother Nature’s wrath as well.
The 2011 Tornado Season Toppled the Charts
In 2011, the U.S. experienced an unbelievable number of tornadoes, with a total number of 1897; 1704 of which were rated an EF2 or higher on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. We experienced what is referred to as a Super Outbreak, which was essentially a 3 day nightmare that spawned 289 confirmed tornadoes. In 2011 alone, the United States experienced six extremely devastating tornadoes that were given the highest rating of EF5 . These include the following tornadoes:
- The Joplin, Missouri Tornado, which claimed the lives of 161 people and injured more than 1,000.
- The Hackleburg, Alabama Tornado, which claimed the lives of 72 people and injured at least 145.
- The Philadelphia, Mississippi Tornado, which claimed the lives of three people and injured several others.
- The Smithville, Mississippi Tornado, which claimed the lives of 23 people and injured over 100 others.
- The Rainsville, Alabama Tornado, which claimed the lives of 25 people and injured many more.
- The Piedmont, Oklahoma Tornado, which killed two children and injured several others.
In addition to the devastating tornadoes listed above, there were several other devastating tornadoes, such as the catastrophic tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, AL; claiming the lives of 64 people and injuring more than 1500 others. At the end of 2011, the death toll due to tornadic events stood at 553 and the injuries exceeded 5300 in the U.S. These statistics should remind us that Mother Nature can turn on us in an instant. It can happen anywhere and it can affect anyone.
Are you prepared? Do you and your family know how to react when faced with such a situation? [Read more...]