Tornado Safety Areas

When a tornado watch is announced, it means conditions are present for a tornado. Keep a radio/TV tuned for further information, and gather emergency supplies.

At Home:

  • Seek shelter: on the lowest possible floor, under the stairs, in an inner hallway, bathroom or closet are good shelter spots.
  • Go to the center of the room.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Don't bother with the windows!
  • Crouch on the floor in the egg position. Try to find something sturdy you can get under and hold onto to protect you from flying debris and/or a collapsed roof. Use your arms to protect your head and neck. 
  • Protect yourself from flying debris with pillows, heavy coats, blankets, or quilts.

At Work:

  • Seek shelter on the lowest possible floor or a basement, if there is a basement. Stairwells, bathrooms and closets are good spots.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • As a last resort, crawl under your desk.

At School:

  • Seek shelter in interior hallways, small closets and bathrooms.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of mobile classrooms.
  • Stay out of gymnasiums, auditoriums, and other rooms with a large expanse of roof.
  • Bus drivers should be alert for bad weather on their routes.

Mobile Homes or Vehicles:

Leave them and go to a strong building. If there is no shelter nearby, get into the nearest ditch and lie flat with your hands shielding your head. Residents, even those who live in mobile homes with tie-­downs, should seek safe shelter when a tornado threatens. If you live in a mobile home park, talk to management about the availability of a nearby shelter. Lie flat in a ditch or ravine. Use your arms to protect your head and neck and wait for the storm to pass. **While waiting, be alert for the flash floods that sometimes accompany tornadoes.

In a Car:

Never try to outrun a tornado in a car. A tornado can toss cars and trucks around like toys. If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning issued, get out of your vehicle and find safe shelter. If no shelter is available, lie down in a low area using your arms to cover the back of your head and neck. Be sure to stay alert for flooding.