Tornado Safety Rules

Tornado Safety Rules
 
Homes
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.  
 
Buildings
In schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other public buildings, go to small interior rooms or interior halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows. Avoid large rooms such as gymnasiums or auditoriums. Avoid hallways with exterior glass doors. They can act as wind tunnels.
 
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.
 
Camping, Hiking, Boating
Check the forecast before you head out. Have a weather app for your phone or a portable NOAA Weather Radio. If a tornado warning is issued for your area or if you see a tornado, seek shelter in a sturdy structure. If no shelter is available, lie flat in a low lying area and cover your head.   
 
Report funnel clouds and tornadoes to local authorities for relay to the National Weather Service.
 
Follow National Weather Service Chicago on Facebook at www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Chicago.gov, and Twitter @NWSChicago. Once you are in a safe location, please post reports or pictures of tornadoes or storm damage with your location, the approximate location and movement of the tornado, and time of occurrence. 
 
If you are aware of a tornado warning in your area, please share with family, neighbors, and friends through Facebook, Twitter, or text message. Be a force of nature!


Return to News Archive

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