Tornado Safety Rules

Go to the basement. The southwest corner (or any corner) does not offer the best protection. Get under the stairs or under a heavy piece of furniture. If there is no basement go to a small interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet, bathroom or hallway. Do not open windows! Stay away from windows.  
In schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public buildings, go to small interior rooms or halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows. Avoid large rooms such as gymnasiums or auditoriums.
High Rise Buildings
In high rise buildings, it is not necessary to get to the lowest floor. Go to small interior rooms, halls, or stairwells – but stay away from windows.
Mobile Homes and Vehicles
Make plans to go to a nearby substantial structure when the tornado watch is issued, before the storm hits. If a tornado is approaching and there is not time to get to a place of safety, get out and lie flat on the ground in a low spot or ditch. Nationwide, about 40% of tornado deaths occur in mobile homes. Bridges or overpasses are not good storm shelters. They can act as wind tunnels.   

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