Terms to Know

  • Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable over a large area for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to develop.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been detected or seen, is on the ground and moving, and is expected to move through your area soon.  Take cover immediately!

Act (During a Tornado)

  • If outdoors:  Seek shelter in a substantial building immediately.  If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.  Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
  • If at home or in a small building:  Go to the basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of the building.  Stay away from windows. Closets, bathrooms, and other interior rooms offer the best protection.  Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress.
  • If in a school, hospital, or shopping center:  Go to a pre-designated shelter area.  Stay away from large open areas and windows.  Do not go outside to your car.
  • If in a high-rise building:  Go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.  Do not use the elevators.  Use the stairs.
  • If in a mobile home or vehicle:  Get out of mobile homes or vehicles - they are easily tossed about by strong winds in the tornado.
  • Take shelter in a substantial structure: If there is no shelter near-by, lie flat in a ditch or low spot with your hands shielding your head.