Tornado: our prevention tips

A tornado is a rare weather phenomenon that occurs only when a cold air current descends into an updraught of warm air. They are very difficult to predict accurately, however there are still warning signs.

A tornado is a very localised phenomenon that most often moves along a specific route. It can just as easily hit a series of houses head-on while completely sparing their direct neighbours.

The tornado season is summer. Heat and the sun promote warm drafts at low altitudes. If a storm or thunderstorm with strong winds is forecast in the summer, this increases the risk.

Note that many other conditions must be met for the tornado phenomenon to occur, nevertheless, here are our tips to follow in case of storm or storm warning in the summer.

Before the tornado hits, if the conditions are present:

  • Follow the Luxembourg weather warnings and also that of neighbouring countries: often a tornado is forecast in a municipality or a neighbouring country before reaching yours.
  • Do not stay on the upper floors of a building or your home; don't stay close to roofs and walls.
  • If you live on the top floor of a residence, take shelter in a hallway in the middle of the building.
  • Close doors, gates, windows and shutters.
  • Secure all objects that can be blown away by the wind (garden table, furniture, umbrellas, etc.) and your car.
  • Keep a torch, a battery-powered radio and your mobile phone charged.
  • Don't go out, even in the car. If you have no choice but to take the car out, stay alert and stay away from dangerous areas as much as possible (such as trees).
  • Get your pets inside.
  • Know how to spot the warning signs: if you see dark clouds swirling abnormally near the ground forming a funnel, or if you hear a noise similar to that of a freight train, it could be a tornado.

During a tornado:

A tornado only lasts a few minutes; it is therefore important to react quickly.

  • If you are in an enclosed area, do not go out and stay away from walls and openings.
  • If you're outside, put yourself in a lying position in a ditch if possible.
  • If you're in the car, get out immediately; it could be swept away by the tornado.

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