Clip and save these tornado tips

Clip and save these tornado tips

THAT SUCKS: A tornado south of Anadarko, Oklahoma on May 3, 1999. It's interests include scrapbooking, dancing and house cats. Photo by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

As we transition into a monthly print publication (see this story) and to the fast-moving online world of up-to-the-minute Drudge Report journalism, I think it is very important that I use this weekly print space in a meaningful way, a way that will help you the reader. (If you're reading online, please print this out and continue.) Something you can clip out and laminate for future reference. I have in previous years published in this space advice on how to prepare for tornadoes, and I can think of no better subject to further expound upon and give you the opportunity to clip out. Tack this column up in your basement or storm shelter and you'll know exactly what to do. If you don't have a basement or storm shelter, well, you're screwed anyway.


  • Each year, Kansas experiences as many as 13,000 tornadoes. Most of these tornadoes touch down in unpopulated areas where they can't do much damage, like Hays.
  • Tornadoes are caused when a great deal of warm, moist air is displaced by cooler air as a punishment because the angels know you've been touching yourself.
  • Television meteorologists are paid by the number of tornadoes that occur in their viewing area in any given year.
  • Wichita has experienced more earthquakes than tornadoes in the past five years.*
  • The most accurate method of predicting tornadoes is observing the behavior of carnival and circus folk. Just before any truly severe storm, there will always be a creepy old carnival and big top on the outskirts of town.
  • An F5 tornado generates enough energy to charge an iPad two and a half times.
  • Wearing the color green makes you 43% more likely to be injured during a tornado. No one knows why.
  • Scientists have long studied why house cats are immune to tornadoes and cannot be affected by their winds; most studies conclude it is because house cats have no souls.
  • The tornado in The Wizard of Oz was portrayed by a young Orson Welles, before the weight gain.
  • Tornadoes used to be much more dangerous; every person who witnessed a tornado before 1900 has died.


When the National Weather Service announces a tornado warning, it is important not only to get to shelter immediately, but to have a go-bag ready for the emergency needs which may arise. This bag should be in an easily accessible place and be ready at a moment's notice. Your bag should contain a bare minimum of:

  • Warm clothing
  • A weather radio, preferably crank or cold-fusion powered
  • Ten pounds of fresh potatoes
  • An adorable sugar glider
  • Thirty gallons of drinking water
  • A handgun with two bullets — one for emergencies, one for you.
  • Munchkin poison
  • A small beehive
  • One formal outfit for dressy affairs
  • Five kilograms of uncut Columbian cocaine
  • A magazine


The Enhanced Fujita Scale began operational use in the United States in 2007, replacing the obsolete Fujita Scale which was named for a giant Japanese monster who terrorized Tokyo in the 1960s. If you're an amateur storm-chaser, rating tornadoes on the Enhanced Fujita Scale is easy and useful. Here's a breakdown of the scale:

EF-1: This tornado has fewer than 100 fans on Facebook and will be unable to mount a financially successful regional tour. The EF-1 tornado must hold another, primary job as its source of income and finds itself very defensive around other, more professional tornadoes when asserting that it really is still a professional tornado despite the fact that it really isn't. The winds of an EF-1 tornado can style your hair in the manner of Ted Danson.

EF-2: These tornadoes are exponentially stronger than EF-1 tornadoes, but still not terribly strong or resilient due to their inherent veganism. EF-2 tornadoes cannot enter the state of South Carolina. An EF-2 produces winds capable of making you cry like a little girl.

EF-3: The first level of genuinely strong tornado, an EF-3 will still not affect houses whose doors are marked with the blood of a lamb. The EF-3 tornado is deadly unless handled by a chef trained in the specific art of its preparation. EF-3 winds are strong enough the beat up your dad.

EF-4: Also known as Odin's Carousel, the EF-4 tornado is a punishment for something you did. If it were to appear in a horror film, then the EF-4 would most likely be portrayed by Tim Curry. An EF-4 tornado is thought to be responsible for the extinction of the African Blue Rhino. The winds of an EF-4 tornado are strong enough to get you through this.

EF-5: No actual footage of the EF-5 tornado exists, because it is as dangerous on film as in real life. No one has seen an EF-5 tornado and lived. An EF-5 tornado was somehow captured in Sweden in 2007 and has provided the nation's entire power supply since then. The EF-5 tornado produces winds powerful enough to send a dandelion seed to the moon.

The most important tool in your tornado-fighting arsenal is fear. Crippling, mind-bending fear that will ruin your summer as every distant rumble of thunder fills the pit of your stomach with a sense of imminent doom. Grasp that fear, and nurture it into hatred. The hatred will make you stronger, cleanse your mind of mercy and only then will you be strong enough to face a tornado in single combat. For the blood and the victory!

*Actually true.