Tornadoes

Isaiah 4:6 “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”

So spring is here. The weather is changing and it is tornado season. What is a tornado? It is a column of air that is rotating at a violent speed. It doesn’t have to touch the earth to be a 13164261_10208819273376239_2831610834011407790_ntornado and what you see is a funnel shaped cloud, but the center of the tornado is not the only dangerous part of it. It’s winds reach out farther than you can see and debris will be flying about at dangerous speeds. Even a usually soft and non-dangerous object can be turned into a deadly projectile that can embed itself in a tree.

They fall into different categories.

Water spout: A tornado over water. It sucks it up and swirls it around. But there are two types of water spouts. The weaker type that is more common and a tornadic water spout is much more severe.

Land spout: A weaker water spout over land. Waterspouts and landspouts share many defining characteristics, including relative weakness, short lifespan, and a small, smooth condensation funnel which often does not reach the surface.

Gustnado: Because they are not connected with a cloud base, there is some debate as to whether or not gustnadoes are tornadoes.

Dust Devil: A dust devil (also known as a whirlwind) resembles a tornado in that it is a vertical swirling column of air. However, they form under clear skies and are no stronger than the weakest tornadoes. They form when a strong convective updraft is formed near the ground on a hot day. If there is enough low level wind shear, the column of hot, rising air can develop a small cyclonic motion that can be seen near the ground. They are not considered tornadoes because they form during fair weather and are not associated with any clouds.

Fire Whirl: Small-scale, tornado-like circulations can occur near any intense surface heat source.

A tornado is classified by how much damage it causes. They range from EF0 to EF5. An EF0 tornado will probably damage trees but not substantial structures, whereas an EF5 tornado can rip buildings off their foundations leaving them bare and even deform large skyscrapers.

EF0 EF1 = Weak

EF2 Ef3 = Strong significant damage

Ef4 Ef5= violent intense damage

There really isn’t much you can do about a tornado except get out of the way. Take cover in a storm shelter or safe room. If you don’t have either head down to a basement or most secure room in your home that has no windows. Take your bug out bag of essentials and hunker down till your emergency radio says it is safe to come out. If you know the storm is coming that has great potential for tornadoes and you have no storm shelter it would be a good idea to head over to a friend or family member’s place who does and stay there till the danger passes. If you have time before the storm hits and you know where your water and gas lines are and how to turn them off, this can reduce the amount of damage the tornado can cause.

Essentials for a tornado kit are the usual, dry clothes, 3 days worth of food, flashlight and emergency radio to listen to emergancy broadcasts, blankets and water. First aid supplies, toiletries. It is not a good idea to start any fires during this type of disaster. You are encouraged to use hand crank flashlights and radios. They are rechargeable in case you are caught with low batteries. There wont be much to do while holding down the fort so you will probably be keeping the radio on for hours. So if you don’t have a hand crank one keep a stock of extra batteries. Throw in a couple decks of cards. It will help pass the time and keep anyone with you distracted from the impending danger. panicking family members will only make things worse.

In any situation don’t underestimate the power of prayer. God is always with us. Jesus rebuked the storm and calmed the winds. Faith can perform wonders and protect us.

Here is a man who rebuked a tornado. It dissipated. You can call it what you want, but it happened. To those who believe anything is possible. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness and the prophets commanded the skies to shut up the rain and it didn’t rain and they commanded the skies to rain and it did. They were only people like any of us.

After it has passed, avoid downed power lines, avoid standing water. Sewers could be backing up and the water could be filthy and full of diseases. Wear boots or thick soled shoes to avoid broken glass and debris. Do not enter damaged buildings. Even if they look sturdy and even if it is your home. If it shows signs of damage it could be damaged worse than it appears. The whole thing could come down on your head. Get in contact with emergency crews for assistance. If the storm is bad it could take some time.