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Tornado safety tips

  • Published Friday, March 6, 2009, at 2:26 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, March 6, 2009, at 2:47 p.m.

Nothing can guarantee your safety during a tornado, but you can take steps to decrease your chances of being injured.

Before a tornado strikes

  • Look for approaching storms that may include a dark greenish tint, contain large hail or produce a loud roaring noise of rushing wind
  • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio for the latest updates
  • Monitor local media for the latest warnings from the National Weather Service

Where to go when a tornado warning has been issued

Indoors: Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.

In a vehicle:

  • Your first option might be driving away from the danger. Note the movement of the tornado and drive at a right angle to a shelter. Remember to drive at a right angle; never try to outrun the tornado.
  • Otherwise, get out of your vehicle and lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • At night, the tornado may be nearly impossible to see. Err on the side of caution and get out of your vehicle and into a sturdy shelter or nearby ditch.

In a trailer or mobile home: Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If all else fails remember the word DUCK:
Down to the lowest level
Under something sturdy
Cover your head
Keep in shelter until the storm passes

Source: National Weather Service

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