Tornado safety precautions

Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind if a tornado threatens and you are in your home.

  • Go to the lowest and smallest room
  • Get under something sturdy or in a hallway.
  • Get away from windows.
  • Cover yourself from blankets, pillows and coats to protect you from debris. If you have a bike helmet available, put it on.
  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor.
  • A bathtub may also offer a shell of partial protection.

If you are in a mobile home, get out if a tornado warning is issued for your vicinity. The National Weather Service says you are probably safer outside. Go to a shelter if one is available in your community. Otherwise, seek shelter in a permanent building. Or, you can lay flat in a ditch and cover your head.

If you are outdoors and a tornado threatens, you should seek shelter in a sturdy building. Otherwise, lay flat and face-down on low ground. Protect the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can – they can be blown onto you in a tornado.

Cars and trucks are extremely dangerous in a tornado. If you are listening to storm coverage on the radio, park your car as quickly and safely as possible if you see a tornado in your vicinity. You should seek shelter in a sturdy building if possible. If no buildings or nearby, run to low ground away from any cars and lay flat and face-down. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which offer little to no protection against flying debris.

Here are some good tips if you are in an office building, hospital or nursing home and a tornado threatens.

  • Go directly to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building away from glass. Interior stairwells are almost always good places to take shelter.
  • Crouch down and cover your head.
  • Stay out of elevators. You could become trapped if power is lost.

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