Galveston County is under a tornado watch until 4:00PM. The NWS alert can be found HERE
Tornados are extremely violent localized windstorms. A tornado is characterized by a funnel cloud, which reaches to the ground with wind velocities inside the funnel as high as 200 miles per hour. Tornados most frequently are associated with other violent weather conditions, primarily large thunderstorm systems, and often accompany hurricanes.
Personnel in the district must realize common terms associated with tornados such as:
Tornado Watch: Conditions exist that are right for tornado formation.
Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or there is an immediate threat of a tornado in a particular area.
During incidents involving the threat of a tornado to GCHD, personnel will be responsible for the following:
During a Tornado
- If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others. Here is how you can remain safe in the following locations.
- Move personnel and patients/customers to a safe part of the building preferably an interior room or central hallway in the facility.
- Avoid areas with windows or large amounts of glass
In a Vehicle
- DO NOT STAY IN A VEHICLE, TRAILER, OR MOBILE HOME DURING A TORNADO. These items can turn over during strong winds. Even trailers and mobile homes with a tie-down system cannot withstand the force of tornado winds.
- PLAN AHEAD. If you live in a mobile home, go to the lowest floor of a nearby building, preferably one with a basement. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert and protect your head with an object or with your arms.
- DO NOT TRY TO OUTRUN A TORNADO IN YOUR CAR. If you see a tornado, stop your vehicle and get out. Do not get under your vehicle. Follow the directions for seeking shelter outdoors (see Outdoors section).
If you are caught outside during a tornado and there is no adequate shelter immediately available:
- Avoid areas with many trees.
- Avoid vehicles.
- Lie down flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert.
- Protect your head with an object or with your arms
After the tornado
- Check people around you for injuries. Begin first aid or seek help if necessary. Always cooperate with local officials.
- Check utility lines and appliances for damage. If you smell gas, open the windows and turn off the main valve. Don’t turn on lights or appliances until the gas has dissipated. If electric wires are shorting out, turn off the power.
- When you go outside, watch for downed power lines.
- Assess facility damage and notify the PHEP Manager.