08-10-2020: The fire danger rating today is "HIGH". The burn ban is in effect.
08-10-2020: The fire danger rating today is "HIGH". The burn ban is in effect.
Severe Summer Weather Safety


A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel shaped cloud. It is spawned by a thunderstorm (or sometimes as a result of a hurricane) and produced when cool air overrides a layer of warm air, forcing the warm air to rise rapidly. The damage from a tornado is a result of the high wind velocity and windblown debris. Tornado season is generally June through August, although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year. They tend to occur in the afternoons and evenings: over 80 per cent of all tornadoes strike between noon and midnight.

Tornado Warning Signs

Look out for:

· Dark, often greenish sky
· Wall cloud
· Large hail
· Loud roar; similar to a freight train


· Some tornadoes appear as a visible funnel extending only partially to the ground. Look for signs of debris below the visible funnel.
· Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
· An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.
· Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Tornado Watches and Warnings

A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. This is the time to remind family members where the safest places within your home are located, and listen to the radio or television for further developments.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety. Turn on a battery-operated radio and wait for further instructions.


Conduct tornado drills each tornado season.

Designate an area in the home as a shelter, and practice having everyone in the family go there in response to a tornado threat.

Discuss with family members the difference between a “tornado watch” and a “tornado warning.”

Have disaster supplies on hand.

· Flashlight and extra batteries (do not use candles or open flame devices!)
· Portable, battery operated radio and extra batteries
· First aid kit and manual
· Emergency food and water
· Non-electric can opener
· Essential medicines
· Cash and credit cards
· Sturdy shoes
· A set of spare keys to vehicles 
· Personal identification
· Camera with several rolls of film (for documenting your damage)

Develop an emergency communications plan.

In case family members are separated from one another during a tornado (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. 

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call
Long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.

Mobile Homes

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit. When a tornado warning is issued, take shelter in a building with a strong foundation. If shelter is not available, lie in a ditch or low-lying area a safe distance away from the unit.

If a Tornado is approaching:

If at home:

Go at once to the basement, storm cellar, or the lowest level of the building. (Many of your neighbors have safe rooms or storm shelters and will be willing to share them with you. Make plans beforehand).

If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a small inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.

Get away from windows.

Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they tend to attract debris.

Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table and hold on to it.

Use arms to protect your head and neck.

If at work or school:

Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.

Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.

Get under a piece of furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.

Use arms to protect your head and neck.

If outdoors:

If possible, get inside a building.

If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. Be aware of the potential for flooding.

Use arms to protect your head and neck.

If in a car:

Never try to out drive a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and toss it through the air.

Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.

If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding. Do not take cover under a bridge!

After The Tornado

Help injured or trapped persons.

Give first aid when appropriate. Don’t try to move the seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.

Turn on radio or television to get the latest emergency information.

Stay out of damaged buildings. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches or gasoline or other flammable liquids as soon as possible. Leave the building if you smell gas or chemical fumes.

Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance purposes.


206 East Broadway
Williston, ND 58801

Mailing Address:
PO Box 2047
Williston, ND 58802-2047


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