The summer months are intoxicating. They bring relaxation, swimming, and, best of all, vacations. It is the time of year where families get to explore the countryside together. Road trips become a popular method during the early summer months. However, there is one thing that surprises many travelers: tornadoes. They can pop up anywhere without warning destroying anything in their path. How can families still enjoy their treks across the nation while being aware of tornado danger? Here are a few tips

1. Know the Season

The location is a big thing when it comes to avoiding tornadoes. Even though “Tornado Alley” – the area which includes Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri – is known to have many tornadoes they are not just relegated to this area. They can happen anywhere at any time. The crucial thing for travelers to know is the season. For instance, throughout Tornado Alley the season runs from April through June, while up north it runs from late spring to mid-summer. By avoiding these areas at key times, travelers can save themselves a lot of grief and anxiety. 

2. Be Prepared

No matter where you are staying it is of the utmost importance to be prepared. Make sure you know where the nearest shelters are and whether your lodging has one. Also, pay attention to the traditional safety methods. For example, stay away from doors and windows as well as crouch and cover your head. If driving, try to find a ditch or an underpass to wait out the storm. Additionally, make sure you pack extra supplies just in case there is a need for additional food, water, or clothing. Finally, create a family emergency plan. Decide what to do in the case of a tornado, especially, if someone gets separated from the group. These preparations are bound to ease your mind and make vacationing easier.


3. Interpret the Weather

Travelers must also be able to understand the signs of impending danger. The first cue of an oncoming tornado is an eerie silence and absolute calm. The silence may be accompanied by a thickening darkness that usually appears dark green or gray. As the storm gets closer there is a relentless combination of rain and hail. A squall line is the biggest clue to a tornado. If you see a rotating cloud that hugs the horizon it is a sure-fire sign of danger. Finally, the wind will begin to pick up and reach tremendous force. The better you can recognize these signs the faster you can get yourself to safety.

4. Be Aware

An emergency weather radio should be on travelers at all times. This will be extremely helpful if you begin to see the warning signs. All you have to do is tune in and discern whether the danger is impending or distant. It may seem like an overreaction, but these are known to save people’s lives.  So, next vacation, do not waste any precious time worrying about tornadoes. If you prepare beforehand you will be able to enjoy summer in peace.