When a tornado approaches….

  • In homes or small buildings. Go to the basement or cellar (if available) or to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Upper floors are unsafe. If there is no time to descend, go to a closet, a small room with strong walls, or an inside hallway. Wrap yourself in overcoats or blankets to protect yourself from flying debris.
  • In schools, hospitals, factories or shopping centers. Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass-enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch and cover your head. Don't take shelter in halls that open to the south or the west. Centrally located stairwells are good shelter.
  • In cars or mobile homes. Abandon them immediately. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designed tornado shelter.
  • If no suitable structure is nearby. Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head. Be alert for flash floods.
  • During a tornado. Absolutely avoid buildings with large, free-span roofs. Stay away from west and south walls. Remember: lowest level, smallest room, center part.

Take our Severe Weather Quiz

1. The worst month for severe thunderstorms in Kansas is:

A. August C. October

B. May D. March

2. The National Weather Service considers a thunderstorm severe if it produces hail at least ___ inch in diameter, wind of ___ mph or stronger, or a tornado.

A. 2, 80 C. 3/4, 58

B. 1, 70 D. 4, 100

3. The average number of tornadoes per year in Kansas is:

A. 25 C. 75

B. 50 D. 101
4. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the day, but the mostly likely time is between:

A. 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

B. 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

C. 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

D. 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

5. The best shelter from a tornado or severe weather is:

A. a vehicle

B. a mobile home

C. a basement or strong sturdy shelter

D. under a highway overpass

6. The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to ?explode? as the tornado passes overhead.

A. True

B. False

7. Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.

A. True

B. False

8. The rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being struck by lightning.

A. True

B. False

9. If you are on a golf course and hear thunder, your best action is:

A. Quickly play the round and move to the next green.

B. Head for the club house.

C. Ignore the storm and hope it will blow over.

D. Get under a tree to stay dry.

10. During a local youth soccer game, you notice distant lightning flashes and hear low rumbles of the thunder. You should:

A. Go to the concession stand before it gets busy.

B. Get your umbrella ready in case it rains.

C. Bring it to the referee?s attention, and get in your car or a nearby building.

D. Stand under a tree to keep dry in case it rains.

11. People struck by lightning carry an electrical charge and should not be touched.

A. True

B. False

12. If you see a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder is five seconds later, how far away is the thunderstorm?

A. 15 miles C. 5 miles

B. 10 miles D. 1 mile

13. The No. 1 cause of death associated with thunderstorms in Kansas since 1950 is:

A. Tornadoes

B. Lightning

C. Flash floods and floods

D. Hail

15. A depth of two feet of water will cause most vehicles to float.

A. True

B. False

16. A downburst wind from a thunderstorm can exceed 100 mph and cause damage equivalent to a strong tornado.

A. True

B. False

17. Large hail stones can fall at speeds faster than:

A. 30 mph C. 75 mph

B. 50 mph D. 100 mph

18. The Kansas tornado producing the most fatalities since 1900 occurred at:

A. Andover C. Salina

B. Topeka D. Udall

19. ?Tornado watch? means:

A. Tornadoes are possible.

B. Large hail is possible.

C. Strong and damaging winds are possible.

D. All the above are possible.

Kansas Tornado facts for 2006

  • Number: 92 (37 above the 1950-2006 average of 55)
  • Deaths: 0.
  • Injuries: 18.
  • Longest track: 17.0 miles (Washington County, April 6).
  • Most in a county: 10 (Ford, Oct. 26)
  • Number in Marion County: One confirmed report, according to the National Weather Service in Wichita. It touched down three miles west of Durham in a northeast motion for three miles. No injuries; total property damage estimated at $120,000.
  • Days of occurrence: 22
  • Most in one day: 28 (April 6). The record is 39 (June 15, 1992).
  • First to touch down: Jan. 28, Harvey County
  • Last to touch down: Oct. 26, Commanche County.
  • Most in one month: 28 (October, a new record for the month, post-1950; the previous record was 19).
  • Monthly totals: January 3, February 0, March 10, April 19, May 9, June 10, July 1, August 3, September 9, October 28, November 0, December 0.
  • Year in review: The number of tornadoes in Kansas in 2006 fell short of the 2005 record-breaking year of 135. The tornadoes that occurred in January were the first to appear in that month since 1950.


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