When a tornado warning has been issued, you may have very little time to prepare.
How you respond now is critical. And how you react depends on where you are.
In a Frame Home
- Make sure you have a portable radio, preferably a NOAA weather radio, for information.
- Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (basement or storm cellar). If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room, or a closet. Keep away from all windows.
- You can cushion yourself with a mattress, but do not use one to cover yourself. Do cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Don’t waste time moving mattresses around.
- Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier.
- Multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm, so do not go out until the storm has passed.
- Do not leave a building to attempt to “escape” a tornado.
In a Mobile Home
- Leave your mobile home immediately and take shelter elsewhere.
- Try to get inside and seek a small protected space with no windows.
- Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gymnasiums, arenas, or shopping malls.
- If you cannot get inside, crouch for protection beside a strong structure, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.
In a Car
- Ideally, you should avoid driving when tornadoes or other kinds of dangerous weather threaten, because a vehicle is a very unsafe place to be. If, however, this is not possible, stay as calm as possible, and assess the situation.
- Your best option might be to get out of the car and lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area that is sufficiently deep enough to protect against the wind.
- If you do so, beware of water runoff from heavy rain that could pose a hazard; get as far away from the vehicle as possible and shield your head from flying debris.
- Or, if possible, take shelter immediately in a nearby building.