Driver Safety Tips For Tornado Season

Published on March 05, 2019 07:55 AM in Safe Driving
Driver Safety Tips For Tornado Season

Tornadoes are simply a part of life for parts of the country this time of year. Having a safety plan--and an emergency kit in your trunk--go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe when seconds matter.

A tornado ripped through Lee County, Alabama over the weekend, killing 23 and while delivering gusts of wind of up to 170 mph. It is the deadliest tornado since 2013, when 25 died from a twister in Oklahoma. Sunday's tornado cut a mile-long gash through Lee County and authorities caution the death toll from Sunday's tornado could increase as crews dig through the wreckage.  

So-called "Tornado Alley" in the Great Plains still experiences the most tornadoes per year, though tornadoes in the South are becoming more frequent and powerful than in the past. Tornado Alley encompasses several states and is generally thought of as stretching from central Texas to Oklahoma, central Kansas and Nebraska and eastern South Dakota, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Sunday's tornado tore through a region storm trackers refer to as "Dixie Alley", which includes East Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama.

The National Weather Service tracked deaths caused by tornadoes from 1985 to 2014 and found Alabama has the highest annual average. The data shows about 14 people in Alabama are killed every year by tornadoes, though the state averages a fewer number of tornadoes per year, 42, than other states like Texas (140); Kansas (80); and Florida (59); according to the NWS. 

The NWS has a simple message for anyone who receives a tornado warning: Get somewhere safe, quickly. also offers suggestions for families interested in emergency preparation:

  • Make a plan. Determine where everyone will meet in case of an emergency.

  • Build a kit. An emergency preparation kit should contain bottled water, candles, portable radio, batteries, first-aid kit.

  • Memorize emergency contact numbers. Make sure your children know important cell phone numbers and other emergency contacts.