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Levy County Emergency Management, located in the Emergency Operations Center in Bronson, Fl, is the "Direction and Control Center" for Levy County in times of disaster.
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Fujita Scale for Tornadic Activity

F-O: Gale Tornado

40-72 mph
Damage: Some minor destruction to chimmneys, breaks branches off trees, pushes over shallow-rooted trees.

F-1: Moderate Tornado
73-112 mph
Damage: The lower limit is the begining of hurricane wind speed. Peels surface off roofs, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, moving autos pushed off the roads, attached garages may be destroyed.

F-2: Significant Tornado
113-157 mph
Damage: Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses, mobile homes demolished, boxcars pushed over, large trees snapped or uprooted, light object misslies generated.

F-3: Severe Tornado
158-206
Damage: Roof and sopme walls torn off well-constructed houses, trains and cars overturned, most trees in forest uprooted.

F-4: Devastating Tornado
207-260 mph
Damage: Well-constructed houses and buildings leveled, structures with weak foundations blown off some distance, cars thrown, large missiles generated.

F-5: Incredible Tornado
261-318 mph
Damage: Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and likely carried considerable distances to disintigrate, automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters, trees debarked, steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged.
Tornado  
 
 Nature's Most Violent Storms
Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, these destructive forces of nature are found most frequently in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. Florida gets more small tornadoes per square mile than any other state, but so few big ones that most people don't consider it as a "tornado alley".
Twister

A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage Paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Most tornadoes last only two or three minutes. The kind that we see in videos and the kind that do the damage we see on the news probably average about 15 minutes.

 
What Causes Tornadoes?  
 
Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. Occasionally, large outbreaks of tornadoes occur along strong frontal systems that form in the Central States and move east. Several states may be affected by numerous severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Tornadoes occasionally accompany tropical storms and hurricanes that move over land. They are most common to the right and ahead of the path of the storm center as it comes ashore. Before thunderstorms develop, a change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere.

Rising air within the thunderstorm updraft then tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical. An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm. Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.

A key point to remember is this: the size of a tornado is not necessarily an indication of its intensity. Large tornadoes can be weak, and small tornadoes can be violent.

 
Tornadoes take many shapes and sizes:
 

Weak Tornadoes - Account for 69% of all tornadoes and less than 5% of the deaths. Their lifetime is usually less than 10 minutes with winds less than 110 mph.

Strong Tornadoes - Account for 29% of all tornadoes and nearly 29% of the deaths. They last 20 minutes or longer with winds of 110-205 mph.

Violent Tornadoes - Account for only 2% of all tornadoes and 70% of the deaths. They can last over one hour with winds greater than 205 mph.

Waterspouts - Weak tornadoes that form over warm water and are most common along the Gulf Coast. Waterspouts occasionally move inland becoming tornadoes and causing damage and injuries.
 

Tornado Watch - Issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. You should monitor local radio or TV stations to stay informed and to know immediately if a Tornado Warning is issued.

Tornado Warning - Issued when a tornado has been sighted in the area. Take shelter immediately! New radar technology known as DOPPLER has the ability to detect wind directions that may indicate a tornado and a tornado warning may be issued before one is actually sighted by the public.

NOTE: In this area, tornadoes form quickly and seldom last very long. Warning for these types of tornadoes is often not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado. Many people have stated that a tornado "sounds like a train". Tornadoes are usually not detected until they have picked up visible dust and debris.

What To Do If A Warning Is Issued
In a building, move to a pre-determined shelter such as a basement. If underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.Stay away from windows.Get under something sturdy like a heavy table. If you can, cover yourself with a blanket or sleeping bag.In a highrise building, use the stairs to go to the designated shelter area or an interior room on the lowest floor possible.Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.If caught outside, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression in the ground.Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.

 
Tornado Preparedness Guide pdf5.65 MB