Public Information Statement
Statement as of 4:10 AM CST on February 20, 2013
...Tornado awareness and drill day...
Severe weather awareness week continues today with tornado awareness
In 2012...28 Tennessee counties were affected by tornadoes. There
were 3 fatalities statewide and 85 injuries. All of the tornado
fatalities occurred on February 29th when tornadoes struck
Cumberland and DeKalb counties. Total damage from tornadoes in
2012 was around $50 million.
Your safety depends on being constantly alert to the possibility of
tornadoes from the thunderstorms that approach you. This is
especially true during tornado watches. A careful lookout should
be kept during any period of severe weather activity. Plan in
advance where you will go and what you will do if a tornado
Remember...a Tornado Watch means that tornado development is
possible...so watch the sky for developing thunderstorms and all
The Hazards they bring. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio...
commercial radio or television for weather statements or
The watch gives you time to think about what you should do if a
tornado approaches and alerts you to the fact that atmospheric
conditions might favor the development of severe thunderstorms
and tornadoes. A watch might cover several thousand square miles
over parts of one or more states.
A Tornado Warning, usually issued for 1 or 2 counties at a time,
means that a tornado has been sighted...or that one is likely based
on radar. Persons in the path of the storm need to immediately find
shelter, preferably in a sturdy building, below ground if possible.
Tornado safety rules
In homes or small buildings, go to the basement or to an
interior room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the lowest
level. Get under something sturdy such as a heavy table or a
In Mobile homes and vehicles, abandon them and go to a sturdy
structure. If there is no such structure nearby, lie flat in a
ditch, ravine, Gully, culvert or low spot with your arms and hands
shielding your head.
In large buildings, such as schools, factories, hospitals,
nursing homes and shopping centers, go to the predesignated
shelter area. Interior hallways on the lowest floor are usually
best. Stay away from rooms that are large in area because they have
weakly supported roofs.
In high-rise buildings, go to an interior small room or hallway.
Stay away from windows. Don't bother opening or closing them. It
won't make any difference to the structure and you'll just waste
time or put yourself at risk should glass break as you are near.
NOAA Weather Radio will carry information and safety tips all this
week containing important safety rules that you can use to
protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of severe