Tornado Safety


        Though Florida is known for its warm sunshine and lazy beach days, there are some major storms that come our way. Tornadoes are some of the fiercest and most unpredictable storms around, capable of destroying almost anything in their paths. Because they spawn from powerful thunderstorms and oftentimes follow after hurricanes, Florida’s weather tendencies present many opportunities for tornadoes to form. When it comes to such unpredictable storms, it is important to be prepared for anything and know what to watch for.

Facts: Peak tornado season for the south is from March to May. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm.

What to watch out for:

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train

What to do:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
  • Listen to the radio or watch a television newscasts for latest information
  • Be alert for changing weather conditions
  • If in a building:
    • Go to pre-designated shelter area (basement; storm cellar; or an area away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls)
    • Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck
    • Do not open windows
  • If in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home:
    • Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or shelter
  • If outside with no shelter:
    • Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
    • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
    • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

            Make sure to call Westgate-Jones Insurance Agency to make sure your Florida insurance policies are updated and that they will fully cover you in the case of a devastating storm. For more information about tornadoes and tornado safety, check out this website.