Tornado Safety

Preparing for a Tornado

  • Designate a shelter area in your home. Basements or storm cellars are the safest. Otherwise, use an interior room or hallway on the ground floor.
  • Practice getting to your home shelter area.
  • Know the locations of designated shelter areas in places like schools and shopping centers.

Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible in the area. Stay tuned to radio or TV and watch the sky.

Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted. Take cover at once.

During a Tornado Watch

  • Stay tuned to radio or TV for updates.
  • Be prepared to take shelter at any time, since some tornadoes develop so quickly that advance warning is impossible.
  • Watch the sky for funnel-shaped clouds and pay attention to tornado danger signs – dark, greenish sky, large hail, and a loud roar similar to a freight train.
  • Stay out of large, flat buildings with wide open areas such as supermarkets or shopping malls.
  • Stock your home shelter area with a flashlight, a battery powered radio, extra batteries, water and a first-aid kit.

During a Tornado Warning

  • Head for the designated shelter or a central area on the lowest floor of a nearby building.
  • In a high-rise, get to the lowest floor possible and go to an interior room.
  • Leave vehicles at once. Seek shelter in a sturdy building.
  • If you are caught outside, lie flat in a ditch and cover your head. Do not get under bridges or overpasses. 
  • Never attempt to outrun a tornado.

After a Tornado

  • Watch for debris – especially broken glass – and downed power lines.
  • Be careful when entering a tornado damaged structure. Make sure the walls and roof are in place and the foundation is sound.