Tornado Safety Tips


Responding to a Tornado Warning is a critical process and must be done very quickly to assure safety. Follow these tips from The Weather Channel in the event of a tornado related emergency this spring and during the severe weather season.

If You’re In a Frame House…

Make sure you have a portable radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio, for information.

Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (basement or storm cellar). If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room, or a closet. Keep away from all windows.

You can cushion yourself with a mattress, but do not use one to cover yourself. Do cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Don’t waste time moving mattresses around.

Multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm, so do not go out until the storm has passed, so do not leave a building to attempt to “escape” a tornado.
If You’re Outside…

Try to get inside and seek a small protected space with no windows like a interior bathroom or closet.

Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gymnasiums, arenas, or shopping malls.

If you cannot get inside, crouch for protection beside a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

If You’re In a Car…

If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:

Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park.

As a last resort, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.

If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

After the Storm: Beware of Hazards

Stay away from downed power lines; report them to your utility company.

Stay away from damaged buildings until inspectors have given you the green light.

If there is flooding, watch for snakes and other animals forced into your home from rising waters.

Evacuate if you smell fumes or gas and notify emergency personnel.

To prevent fires, use flashlights, not candles, when you check for electricity after a tornado.

If your home has been spared from damage, keep children and pets inside.

If pets must be walked outside, keep them on a leash.