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Tornado…Torna-no!: Tornado Facts

One of the things about the heating and cooling/home comfort business is that it relies heavily on the weather.  Unfortunately, one of the things that we cannot control in life is the weather.  Therefore when searching for inspiration for the next post, I decided to check out The Weather Channel and see what was up.  One of the things that The Weather Channel website ( offered was a Lunchtime Live Chat: Hurricane Preparedness.  This led me to think about the weather in Michigan.  Though we are lucky to not have to deal with hurricanes, tornadoes are certainly not out of the question in Southeast Michigan

After completing a Google search, I found a website:  The Online Tornado FAQ by  Roger Edwards of the Storm Prediction Center.

Knowledge is often the key to good preparation, so here is some of the wisdom that Edwards provides on the subject of tornadoes:

What is a tornado?

Long ago, I was told to open windows to equalize pressure. Now I have heard that’s a bad thing to do. Which is right? Opening the windows is absolutely useless, a waste of precious time, and can be very dangerous. Don’t do it. You may be injured by flying glass trying to do it. And if the tornado hits your home, it will blast the windows open anyway.

I have a basement, and my friend said to go to the southwest corner in a tornado. Is that good? Not necessarily. The SW corner is no safer than any other part of the basement, because walls, floors and furniture can collapse (or be blown) into any corner. The “safe southwest corner” is an old myth based on the belief that, since tornadoes usually come from the SW, debris will preferentially fall into the NE side of the basement. There are several problems with this concept, including:

Tornadoes are not straight-line winds, even on the scale of a house, so the strongest wind may be blowing from any direction; and

Tornadoes themselves may arrive from any direction.

In a basement, the safest place is under a sturdy workbench, mattress or other such protection–and out from under heavy furniture or appliances resting on top of the floor above.

What were the deadliest U.S. tornadoes? The “Tri-state” tornado of 18 March 1925 killed 695 people as it raced along at 60-73 mph in a 219 mile long track across parts of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, producing F5 damage. The death toll is an estimate based on the work of Grazulis (1993); older references have different counts. This event also holds the known record for most tornado fatalities in a single city or town: at least 234 at Murphysboro IL. The 25 deadliest tornadoes on record are listed here (pending final totals from the Dixie Outbreak of 27 April 2011). We also have web links related to this and other major tornado events.

These are just some of the facts that can be found.  Please search the whole website for more information.  Remember that tornados can cause much damage to power lines which causes power outages.  A generator can be incredibly helpful in these circumstances.  If you would like a generator estimate or more information about a generator, please feel free to contact FLAME.

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