Below are some safety tips to follow when there is a tornado in your area.
Avoid windows. Opening windows to equalize the pressure is ineffective in reducing damage. Don’t worry about the windows; worry about finding shelter and protecting yourself.
If you are caught in an open building such as a shopping mall, gymnasium, or civic center, get into the restroom if possible. If unable to do so, go to an interior hallway away from windows and protect yourself from flying debris.
If you are caught outside when a tornado strikes, try to find shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building. If buildings are not close, take cover by lying down flat in a ditch or depression. Never attempt to seek shelter under an overpass.
If you are in your vehicle, get out of the vehicle and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If shelter is not immediately available, lay flat in a ditch or depression and protect yourself from flying debris.
Know the names of the counties, cities, and towns near you, especially those to the west and south. It will be easier to track the tornado’s direction if you are familiar with the geography of your area.
Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes. Seek shelter inside a sturdy building or lay down flat in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands.
The best shelter from a tornado is a basement. If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest level of your home. Protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket or sleeping bag.