Safety Tips During a Tornado Threat


Pick a safe place in your home where family members could gather during a tornado. The safest place to be is underground, or as low to the ground as possible, and away from all windows. If you do not have a basement, go to an interior hallway or room on the lowest floor without windows. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. Also make sure there are no windows or glass doors in your safe place and keep this place uncluttered.

If you live in a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. Mobile homes are much more vulnerable to strong winds than site-built structures. Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your family's safe place.

If you can drive away from the tornado, do so. On average, tornadoes move from one location to another at 35-45 mph, driving away is the safest. If you can't drive away from the tornado (if you are driving directly toward the tornado on a divided highway or if you are stuck in slow moving traffic), abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in a nearby sturdy structure, such as a house or other well built structure. If no buildings are available and driving away is not an option, remain in the car with the seatbelt buckled, leaning down to get below the window, or abandon the vehicle for a culvert, ditch or low spot.

If you are in a high-rise building, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Center hallways are often structurally the most reinforced part of a building.

Check with your work, children's school and day care center regarding tornado emergency plans. Every building has different safe places. It is important to know where they are and how to get there in an emergency.

Create a plan for your family. Your family might not be together when a tornado strikes.

That’s why it is important to have a plan in place. Talk about how you will reach each


Prepare an emergency kit. The below listed items should be part of your basic emergency

kit and kept in a container that can be easily carried. Use the Family Safety Guide as a

reference to gather additional items important to your family. Water and canned or dried food - families should set aside one gallon of water per person per day, to last three days, and a three-day supply of food per person. The food should be nonperishable items that don’t need to be cooked, such as tuna and crackers. Remember to include a manual can opener. If there’s an infant in the house, include formula and baby food.

Battery powered radio


Extra batteries for the radio and flashlight

Prescription medications

First-aid kit

Listen for information about what to do and where to go during an actual emergency. City, county, and state officials have developed emergency plans.

Conduct periodic tornado drills. Practice having everyone in the family report to the safe area. Practicing your plan makes the response less stressful during an actual tornado.