TORNADO SAFETY RULES
K. Tom Priddy
Extension Ag. Meteorologist
Nothing can prevent a tornado from occurring but by knowing the
safety rules we can keep deaths and injuries to a minimum.
WHAT IS A TORNADO WATCH?
A tornado watch means that tornados may develop.
* Watch the sky for threatening weather.
* Stay tuned to the radio or television or NOAA weather radio
for weather bulletins.
NOTE: Even if a watch is not announced, every thunderstorm is
potentially dangerous. Keep in touch with weather reports.
WHAT IS A TORNADO WARNING?
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or has
been indicated on the radar screen. Therefore, tornados are
* Seek shelter immediately, if you are in the warning area.
Preferred shelters include:
-Steel-framed or concrete-reinforced buildings
IN A TORNADO WARNING, WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?
With a basement:
* Go to the basement. It offers greatest safety.
* Get under sturdy furniture, if possible.
* Stay away form windows.
Without a basement:
* Go to
- the lowest floor
- the center part of the house
- a small enclosed space, such as a closet or bath
* Get under sturdy furniture
* Stay away from windows
In Mobile Homes
* EVACUATE MOBILE HOMES when strong winds or tornados are
forecast. They are particularly vulnerable to overturning.
* Trailer parks should have community shelters. Take cover
* If there is no shelter nearby,
- Leave the trailer park
- Take cover on low ground
NOTE: Keep your mobile home secured or anchored to the
ground to minimize damage.
In Schools, Hospitals and Shopping Centers
With steel-framed or concrete reinforced construction:
* Go to designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on
lowest floors are best.
Not with reinforced construction:
* Go to a nearby building that has reinforced construction.
* Take cover outside on low, protected ground.
STAY OUT OF STRUCTURES WITH WIDE, FREE-SPAN ROOFS, such as
auditoriums and gymnasiums.
In Open Country
* Move away from the tornado's path at right angles.
* Lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine, if you don't have
time to escape.
In Your Car
DO NOT TRY TO OUTRUN A TORNADO.
If the tornado is in your path:
* Move away from the path at right angles.
* If you can get out of the path, get out of your vehicle.
* Take shelter in a sturdy structure, if available.
* Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression, if no shelter
REMEMBER: The best way to deal with severe weather is
preparedness. Every individual and business should
have a tornado emergency plan for their homes and
places to work.
Tornados can occur any time. Be prepared before they happen.