When severe weather threatens, it is important that you are prepared to act quickly. Advanced planning and practicing specifically how and where you will take cover for protection may save your life. If a Tornado Warning is issued, immediately move to the best available protection.
The best protection is to seek shelter in a basement or tornado safe room. If you’re unable to get to a basement or safe room, move to an interior windowless room on the lowest level of a building. Take personal cover under sturdy furniture such as a table. Cover your head and neck with your arms and place a blanket or coat over your body.
Here are some additional severe weather preparedness tips…
- Know how to stay informed, including monitoring weather reports provided by your local media;
- Consider buying a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio All Hazards receiver, which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service and offers warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- Know where you would go to have the best level of protection from a tornado for every place you spend a lot of time, such as home, work, school, or place of worship;
- Practice how you will communicate with your family members in case you’re not together during a tornado; complete the Family Emergency Communication Plan;
- Store at least a 3-day supply of food, water, medications, and items you may need after the tornado passes; and
- Store the important documents on a USB flash drive or in a waterproof container that you will need to start your recovery.
Some locations don’t provide protection from tornadoes, including: manufactured (mobile) homes/offices, the open space of open-plan buildings (e.g., malls, big retail stores, and gymnasiums), vehicles, and the outdoors. An alternative shelter should be identified prior to a severe weather threat.