Tornado Safety

Tornado Watch - Weather conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop.

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or is indicated by radar.

Tornado survival tips

  • Take shelter when warning sirens go off or if a tornado is spotted.
  • Tune in to an emergency broadcast Hand stay put until the danger is declared over.
  • No place is entirely safe, but some are much safer than others.
  • ALWAYS protect your head.

In a house

  • The basement is the safest place. 
  • The second-best place is a small, windowless interior room on the lowest floor.
  • Hide under furniture or stairwells
  • Avoid windows, chimneys, exterior walls

In schools, hospitals, factories, shopping centers, other public buildings

  • Best place is a designated shelter area.
  • Second-best place is the lowest floor;  seek a centrally-located hallway, small room or closet
  • Stay out of elevators; the power may go out.
  • Avoid windows and exterior walls
  • Stay out of large rooms with free-span roofs like auditoriums, cafeterias, food courts, gymnasiums.

In a car (NEW recommendations from the National Weather Service)

  • If you can drive away from the tornado, do so. Tornados move from one location to another at about 34 – 45 mph.
  • If you can't drive away (due to traffic, highway barriers, etc.), abandon the vehicle and shelter in a sturdy building.

If a sturdy building is not available:

  • Remain in the car, fasten your seat belt, and lean down to get away from the window.
  • Or, abandon the car and get down in a ditch, hide in a culvert, lay down in a low spot, and cover your head.

Never park or hide beneath an overpasses or trees; avoid any structure that can fall or break apart (signs, power lines).

In a mobile home, RV or motor coach

  • Best place - Seek shelter in a permanent structure
  • Second-best place - Get down in a ditch, hide in a culvert, lay down in a low spot, and cover your head
  • If you have a blanket, wrap in it.
  • Avoid overpasses, trees and structures that can break apart or fall (sheds, power lines, signs)