Tornado Safety Rules

We can do little to prevent a tornado from occurring, but by knowing the safety rules, we can minimize the number of deaths and injuries.

A tornado watch means that tornado development is possible. Keep a watchful eye on the sky for threatening weather and stay tuned to radio and television and listen for weather bulletins.

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Persons in the path of the storm should seek shelter immediately, preferably in a storm cellar, underground excavation, or in a steel-framed or concrete reinforced building.

In homes, the basement offers the greatest safety. Seek shelter under sturdy furniture, if possible. In homes without basements , take cover in the center part of the house, on the lowest floor, in a small room such as a closet or bathroom, or under sturdy furniture. Stay away from windows.

In schools, hospitals, and shopping centers, move to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on lowest floors are best. If the building is not of reinforced construction, go to a nearby one that is, or take cover outside on low, protected ground. Stay out of auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other structures with wide free-span roofs.

In open country, move away from the tornado/s path at right angles. If there is not time to escape, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine.

In your car, do not try to outrun a tornado. If available, take shelter in a sturdy structure. Otherwise, get in the nearest ditch or depression until the tornado passes.

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to overturning during strong winds and should be evacuated when strong winds or tornadoes are forecast. Damage can be minimized by securing trailers with cables anchored in concrete footing. Trailer parks should have community storm shelters. If there is no shelter nearby, leave the trailer park and take cover on low-protected ground.


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