You're Not in Kansas Anymore
For those who have come to live in Palm Coast, you'll note that nature doesn't act quite the same way in Florida as 'up north'. Powerful storms and wildfires have unique characteristics in Florida, and understanding what to expect will give you more knowledge and a better understanding of how to react.
When a Tornado Warning is issued, you have little time to make decisions. Advance planning and quick response is a key to survival.
When the jet stream digs south into Florida and is accompanied by a strong cold front and strong squall line of thunderstorms, the jet stream's high level winds often strengthen a thunderstorm into what meteorologists call a supercell or mesocyclone. These powerful storms can move at speeds of 30-50 mph, produce dangerous downburst winds, large hail and most deadly tornadoes. Damage from a tornado is a result of the high wind velocity and windblown debris. Over 80% of all tornadoes strike between noon and midnight.
Frequently Asked Tornado Questions
- When is Florida's tornado season?
- In Florida the Tornado Season is year round. The strongest tornadoes have been recorded in the winter months from February to May (February 1998 outbreak is one example), however, strong tornadoes have also been recorded in landfalling tropical cyclones such as tropical storms and hurricanes.
- What actions can I take to be prepared?
- Build or identify a safe room in your home, preferably a place without a window.
- Purchase an NOAA Weather Radio with a tone alert feature. This will allow you To receive warnings issued by a local National Weather Service office (weather radios with SAME capability can be programmed for just Flagler County).
- Conduct drills during tornado seasons. Discuss and practice plans with all family members.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are Separated from one another during a tornado (at work or school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative to serve as a family contact. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
- What disasters supplies do I need?
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Esssential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- What important telephone numbers do I need?
- City of Palm Coast City Offices Emergency Information – 386-986-3700.
- CodeRED Alert – add your name to the City's emergency notification system by calling 386-986-2360, Option #1.
- Flagler County Emergency Management - 386-313-4200.