How to Stay Safe When a Tornado Hits

How to Stay Safe When a Tornado Hits

The United States experiences more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world.

Here's how to prepare for one, and what to do if you're caught in the path of one of these deadly twisters.

Protecting your family

  • Prepare beforehand by gathering emergency supplies like food, water, and medications.
  • Make sure you have a full tank of gasoline, batteries in your flashlights, and easy access to important documents and road maps. 
  • Identify a safe place in your home where you, your family and pets can gather in when a tornado strikes. A basement, interior first-floor room or hallway works best.
  • If you find yourself in the path of an approaching tornado, take shelter immediately under solid furniture and away from doors and windows.
  • If you’re caught outside, lie flat on low ground and wait for the storm to pass. Avoid automobiles and mobile homes.
  • If you’re on the road when a tornado hits, pull over and park. Keep your seat belt on and the engine running. With your head under your hands, stay below the windows. If you have a blanket on hand, take cover under it.

Protecting your home

  • Remove any debris or loose items in your yard that can be picked up and flung around by strong winds. Make a list of items to bring inside.
  • Remove diseased or damaged limbs from trees.
  • If you live in a tornado-prone area, consider installing permanent shutters to cover windows.
  • Strengthen garage doors to avoid strong winds from entering the house, wreaking extensive damage and blowing away the roof.

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most powerful, destructive forces. If a warning is issued, following the steps listed above can reduce the risk to you and your family. We also recommend preparing a pet emergency kit for your furry friends.

Right before a tornado hits, make sure to listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations to get the latest information and updates.

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