Staying Safe During a Tornado (Part II)

One sign of a tornado is hail.

If you’re not close to your phone or in an area with bad coverage, there are other tornado signs. Listen and look for:

  • Dark thunderstorm clouds
  • Heavy rain or large hail 
  • Whirling debris or dust 
  • A thunderous rumble that sounds like a train 

Knowing these warning signs can save you plenty of time. Time is of the essence in emergency situations.

When the Tornado Strikes

Once a warning has been issued or you can see the storm coming yourself, it’s time to find shelter ASAP. Don’t wait. Bear in mind, wherever you end up, make sure to safeguard your head. Most tornado injuries entail flying debris. Also, never leave a building trying to escape a tornado. You can’t outrun it.

If You’re at Home

Go inside and move to a windowless, small interior room. If you have a basement or cellar, take cover in there. Stay away from doors, corners, windows, and outside walls. The point is to put as many walls between you and the outside as you an. 

Once you’re in a safe room, go beneath a sturdy desk or table, covering your head and neck with a heavy coat, your arms, a thick blanket, or pillows to safeguard from debris. If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, leave quickly and head to the nearest sturdy building. Mobile homes have very little to no protection. Keep pets in a carrier or crate.

If You’re at Work or School

Head to a pre-designated safe area, such as a storm cellar, a safe room, or a window-free interior room. If you live in a high-rise building, go to a small interior room on the lowest floor. If possible, avoid any buildings with long-spanning roof areas, such as arenas, gymnasiums, or shopping malls. These buildings have a great chance of collapsing from the pressure or a tornado.