Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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NOUS41 KBOX 031304

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Boston/Norton MA
904 AM EDT Thu May 3 2018


The National Weather Service (NWS) Boston, MA has declared April
30 through May 4 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Each day
this week we will highlight a different preparedness topic.

At approximately 322 AM on the morning of August 22 2016 an EF1
tornado touched down in Concord, Massachusetts. Fortunately there
were no fatalities or serious injuries. The tornado had a path
length of a half mile and a path width of 400 yards. Maximum
wind gusts were estimated at 100 mph. It was the fifth tornado
on record to occur in Massachusetts between midnight and 6 AM.

On average, a few tornadoes occur each year in southern New
England. Most are brief and weak with a rating of EF0 or EF1.
They also are more common across the interior than along the
coast because the proximity of the ocean often acts as a limiting
factor. It is quite unusual for a tornado to occur during the
morning hours although it is not completely unprecedented.

We know that tornadoes do occur here, such as the EF3 in Monson
and Springfield, Massachusetts in 2011, the EF2 in Revere,
Massachusetts in 2014, and several weaker tornadoes in southern
New England. The question is, are people prepared? Take these
steps to ensure that you and your family are safe during a
Tornado Warning.

When your area is under a tornado warning, or if you see a
tornado approaching, you should seek shelter immediately! Most
injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so
remember to protect your head. The following are safety tips for
seeking shelter during high winds and tornadoes.

If you are in a structure such as a residence, small building,
school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, or
high- rise building:

1. Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement,
storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no
basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest
level (such as a closet, bathroom, or interior hallway) away from
corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as
possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and
use your arms to protect your head and neck.

2. In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hall
way on the lowest floor possible.

3. Do not open windows.

If you are in a manufactured home or office:

1. Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such
as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm
shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection
from tornadoes.

If you are outside with no shelter available, there is no single
research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to
take, because many factors can affect your decision. Possible
actions include:

1. Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try
to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by
flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park and cover
your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if

2. Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway
and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other
cushion if possible.

3. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a
low, flat location.

4. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a
car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe

Make sure that you know the difference between a Tornado Watch
and a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Watch means that you should be
prepared because conditions are such that a tornado could form,
somewhere within the large Watch area. However, a Tornado Warning
means that you need to take action! A tornado is either
occurring, or is imminent, based on radar or spotter

During a Tornado Watch, check for forecast updates, keep an eye
to the sky, and know where to take shelter. During a Tornado
Warning, take shelter immediately! Seek further forecast
information on NOAA Weather Radio, the NWS website, or local media
outlets for the latest updates.


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