During a Tornado



Let’s talk about tornadoes. Here are some things to remember. First, familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

 REMEMBER, If you are in:  Then:
A permanent structure (a residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building, etc.)
  • Go to a predesignated area, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or to the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (such as a closet or interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest available floor.
  • Do not open windows.
A manufactured home or office
  • Get out immediately and go to a predesignated location such as a storm shelter, or the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby permanent structure. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park. 
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible. 
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible. 
In all situations:
  • Do not seek shelter under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. 
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. 
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.