Tornado Safety

In Homes:

  • Go to the basement or a small interior room or hallway on the lowest level.  Closets and bathrooms would be examples of small interior rooms.
  • Once In a small room or basement, get under something sturdy such as a heavy table or the staircase.  AVOID the corners!
  • STAY AWAY from the windows!  DO NOT open windows, as the strong winds in advance of the tornado can shatter the glass and severely injure you or others.

In Mobile Homes:

  • Leave the mobile home immediately and go to a substantial structure.  If there isn't a shelter available, lie flat in a ditch, ravine, or culvert and cover your head with your hands.

In Schools, Health Care Facilities, and Shopping Centers:

  • Go to the pre-designated shelter.  Interior hallways on the lowest floor are usually best.
  • Stay away from large windows and glassed areas.
  • Stay away from large rooms, such as dining halls and gymnasiums.

In Vehicles:

  • Abandon the vehicle immediately!  Lie flat in a ditch, culvert, or some other type of depression and remember to cover your head with your hands.
  • Highway overpasses are NOT acceptable storm shelter areas, for a variety of reasons. 
  • NEVER try to outrun a tornado!  Tornadoes have been known to travel as fast as 60 to 70 MPH.

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.