Preparing for Dallas Tornados: Essential Emergency Preparedness for your Family

by | Jun 18, 2023 | Uncategorized

Living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area means being prepared for severe weather events, including tornadoes. These powerful storms can strike with little warning, causing significant damage and posing a threat to lives and property. In this article, our Greenteams experts will provide you with essential emergency preparedness tips specifically tailored to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, helping you and your loved ones stay safe during tornado events. 

Concerned about Dallas tornadoes and other natural disasters ? Greenteams is dedicated to help you keep your family safe in any situation. Our experts are here to manage your preparedness and safety plan in face of all emergency situations. 

Understanding Dallas Tornados

How many tornadoes does Dallas get a year ?

Tornadoes are violent rotating columns of air that can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, tornadoes typically occur between March and August, with the peak months being April, May, and June. Dallas, Texas, located in the heart of Tornado Alley, is prone to tornado activity. Tornadoes are relatively common in this region due to the convergence of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cooler, dry air from the Rockies. The frequency of tornadoes in Dallas can vary from year to year, but on average, the area experiences approximately 26 tornadoes per year. 

Tornado preparedness is key

It’s important for residents of the Dallas Fort Worth area to stay informed and be prepared for tornadoes by following safety guidelines and maintaining an emergency plan.

It is also important to understand the various tornado-related terminologies:

  • Tornado Watch: A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for tornado formation. Stay alert and be prepared to take action.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado warning indicates that a tornado has been spotted or detected by radar. Take immediate action to protect yourself and seek shelter.

How bad are tornadoes in Dallas?

Tornadoes in Dallas, Texas, can vary in severity, ranging from weak tornadoes to more powerful and destructive ones. The intensity of a tornado is typically measured on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale, which classifies tornadoes based on the damage they cause.

While not all tornadoes that occur in Dallas are extremely destructive, the area has experienced significant tornado events in the past. In April 1957, a powerful tornado known as the “Dallas Tornado” struck the city, causing extensive damage and resulting in multiple fatalities. More recently, in October 2019, the Dallas area was hit by a series of tornadoes, resulting in substantial property damage and several injuries.

It is important to note that tornadoes are unpredictable and can change in intensity rapidly. Even weaker tornadoes can still cause damage to structures, down trees, and power lines, posing a threat to the safety of residents. Residents of the Dallas Fort Worth Area including Plano, Frisco, Southlake, Allen, McKinney, Arlington, Irvine and surrounding areas  should stay informed about severe weather conditions, maintain an emergency plan, and be prepared to take immediate action in the event of a tornado warning to minimize the potential impact and protect their lives and property.

Know your Dallas Tornados history to better prepare

Dallas, Texas has a notable history of tornado activity due to its location within Tornado Alley. Here are some significant tornado events that have occurred in Dallas:

April 2, 1957: Known as the “Dallas Tornado Outbreak,” a series of tornadoes struck the Dallas area, causing widespread damage and resulting in 10 fatalities. This event is often considered one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in Dallas history.

April 25, 1994: A powerful F4 tornado hit the DFW Metroplex, including parts of Dallas. It caused extensive damage, destroyed numerous homes, and resulted in three fatalities.

One of the most notable and devastating tornadoes in Dallas, Texas, history occurred on April 3, 2012. This tornado outbreak, known as the “April 2012 Dallas–Fort Worth tornado outbreak,” affected various parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, including the city of Dallas. During this outbreak, multiple tornadoes touched down in the region, causing extensive damage and impacting densely populated areas. One particularly destructive tornado, rated EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, struck the city of Lancaster, located just south of Dallas. The Lancaster tornado had a path length of approximately 30 miles and a maximum width of half a mile. The tornado caused significant destruction, including the complete destruction of numerous homes, damage to schools and businesses, and uprooted trees. Multiple injuries were reported across the affected areas. The April 2012 Dallas-Fort Worth tornado outbreak serves as a reminder of the destructive power of tornadoes and highlights the importance of preparedness, early warning systems, and adherence to safety protocols during severe weather events.

It’s important to note that these are just a few examples of significant tornado events in Dallas, and tornadoes can occur in the area during any given year. The frequency and severity of tornadoes can vary, but it underscores the importance of being prepared, staying informed, and following safety protocols during severe weather events in Dallas.

Prepare for Dallas Tornadoes and weather related emergencies in the Fort Worth area

The Importance of Emergency Preparedness

If you live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, being prepared for tornadoes is not just an option; it is a necessity. By taking proactive steps to prepare, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with tornado events. Here’s why emergency Dallas tornado preparedness matters :

  • Personal Safety: Your safety and the safety of your loved ones should always be the top priority. Having an emergency plan in place and being prepared can help you navigate through the storm safely.
  • Property Protection: Tornadoes can cause severe damage to homes and other properties. By preparing your home and securing outdoor objects, you can mitigate potential damage.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that you are prepared and have taken necessary precautions can provide peace of mind during severe weather events.
  • Rapid Response: During tornado events, time is of the essence. Being prepared allows you to respond quickly and efficiently, making critical decisions without wasting valuable seconds.

In the next sections of this article, we will delve into specific steps you can take to create an emergency plan and build an emergency kit that will help you stay safe during Dallas tornados in the Fort Worth area.

Your Emergency Plan against tornadoes in the Dallas Fort Worth area

Creating an emergency plan is vital for tornado preparedness. Here are key elements to include in your plan:

  • Communication Strategy: Establish a communication plan with your family members, ensuring everyone knows how to contact each other during an emergency. Designate an out-of-area contact person who can serve as a central point of communication.
  • Safe Locations: Identify safe locations within your home or workplace where you can take shelter during a tornado. Basements, storm cellars, or interior rooms on the lowest level are typically the safest options.
  • Meeting Point: Determine a designated meeting point for your family members in case you are separated during a tornado event. Based on your family specifications make sure to select the right spot in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Choose a location away from the affected area and ensure everyone knows the route to reach it.
  • Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essential supplies to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours in the aftermath of a Dallas tornado event

Building an Emergency Kit

To be fully prepared to face a tornado event in the Dallas fort Worth arena make sure to have the proper emergency kit. Having a well-stocked emergency kit is crucial for surviving the aftermath of a tornado. Here are some essential items to include in your kit :

  • Non-perishable Food: Stock up on canned goods, energy bars, and other non-perishable food items that do not require refrigeration or cooking.
  • Water: Store at least one gallon of water per person per day to ensure an adequate supply for drinking and sanitation purposes.
  • First Aid Supplies: Include a comprehensive first aid kit that contains bandages, antiseptics, medications, gloves, and any necessary prescription medications.
  • Flashlights and Batteries: Have multiple flashlights and extra batteries to provide light during power outages.
  • Weather Radio: Invest in a battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio to stay informed about tornado warnings and other emergency alerts in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Check local news or the NOAA weather radio for alerts.
  • Extra Clothing and Blankets: Pack a change of clothes for each family member, along with blankets or sleeping bags for warmth and comfort.

Home Preparedness for Dallas tornado

To protect your home located in the Dallas Fort Worth against tornado damages and severe weather outbreaks, several things can be done. Preparing your home ahead of time can effectively minimize potential damage during a severe weather event. Take the following steps:

  • Reinforce Windows and Doors: Consider installing storm shutters or reinforce windows with impact-resistant glass. Strengthen external doors with deadbolt locks or install sturdy door braces.
  • Secure Outdoor Objects: Move or secure any loose outdoor objects that can become projectiles during high winds. This includes patio furniture, garden tools, and grills.
  • Designate a Safe Room or Shelter: If you don’t have a basement, designate an interior room on the lowest level of your home as a safe room. Clear this room of clutter and reinforce it if possible.

Staying informed on Dallas tornadoes

Staying informed about tornado warnings and other emergency information is crucial for your safety. Make sure to stay informed to best prepare for Dallas tornados in the Fort Worth area. Here are some ways to stay informed:

  • Weather Alert Apps: Install weather alert apps on your mobile devices that can provide real-time notifications about tornado warnings and weather updates.
  • NOAA Weather Radio: Purchase a NOAA weather radio that can receive broadcasts directly from the National Weather Service, ensuring you receive immediate alerts.
  • Local Emergency Notification Systems: Sign up for local emergency notification systems or alerts provided by your city or county. These can notify you via text, email, or phone call about tornado warnings and evacuation orders. Follow the Dallas Office of emergency Management on twitter for example.

Evacuation Planning for Tornado events

In certain situations, evacuating your home may be necessary for your safety. Based on your location in the Dallas Fort Worth area and on the tornado event, it might be possible and/or recommended to evacuate. Prepare for evacuations by following these steps:

  • Know Evacuation Routes: Familiarize yourself with the designated evacuation routes in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Plan multiple routes in case some roads are blocked or inaccessible. Make sure to plan routes from your home, workplace, kid’s school and so on.
  • Pack Essential Items Quickly: Keep a “go bag” ready with essential items such as identification documents, cash, medications, and a copy of your emergency plan. This will allow you to quickly grab these items in case of an evacuation order.
  • Pet Preparedness: Make arrangements for your pets during an evacuation. Identify pet-friendly shelters, arrange for temporary accommodations, and pack essential supplies for your furry friends.
  • Always follow the local authority’s recommendations on evacuations

Community Resources and Support

During tornado events in the Dallas Fort Worth area, various resources and organisations can provide assistance. Familiarize yourself with these local resources:

  • Emergency Management Agencies: the City of Dallas has an Office of Emergency management that can provide information and safety guidelines regarding Tornados in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Stay informed about the services and resources provided by your local emergency management agencies. They can offer guidance on preparedness, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations.
  • Red Cross Shelters: The American Red Cross often opens shelters during severe weather events. Locate the nearest Red Cross shelter to your location and be aware of their procedures.
  • Community Support Networks: Connect with local community support networks, neighbourhood associations, or social media groups that provide updates and support during tornado events. These networks can provide valuable information and resources specific to your Dallas Fort Worth area.

Preparing for tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is essential for the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones. By creating an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, and staying informed, you can minimize the risks associated with tornado events. Remember to regularly review and update your emergency plan and kit, ensuring they remain relevant and up to date.

Stay vigilant during tornado season, heed tornado warnings, and follow the guidance of local authorities. By taking proactive steps and being prepared, you can face tornado events with confidence and protect yourself and your family. Greenteams can help you build your emergency plan, evacuation plan & kit based on your specific needs and keep your “go bag” up to date. We’re disaster and emergency professionals dedicated to providing the most effective ways to protect your family when dangerous situations arise.