- Be safe, be smart.
- A WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area.
- Listen for sirens — remember you may not be able to hear them or they might not be sounded in time. Listen to local radio or TV stations.
- Visit the National Weather Service for current watches, warnings, statements and advisories.
- This lists all items (food, water, emergency supplies, tools, clothing, sanitation items) you may need.
- Place important items on the lowest safe level of your home.
- Protect windows with shutters, paneling, and other materials.
- Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
- Turn off gas and water in your home.
- Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes.
- Lower any outside antennae, masts or towers. Avoid power lines.
- Bring in olawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the lowest level of your home.
WHN TIP: The Three P's
When you take cover, it's important to bring something that comforts both you, your pets and your children (a favorite stuffed animal or blankey).
- Be safe, be smart.
- If you are in a home or any other small building, go to the basement. If the dwelling does not have a basement, go to the lowest level floor and stay in the smallest interior room, such as a closet or bathroom.
- Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
- Always crouch down and protect your head by covering it with your hands. Cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, heavy coats, etc.), to protect against falling debris.
- Stay away from windows, skylights or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail, causing damage or injury.
- Do not open a window. Once thought to minimize damage, opening a window can actually increase damage, according to the Louisville, KY government.
- If you are in a mobile home, seek another form of shelter IMMEDIATELY.
- Go to the nearest designated tornado shelter.
- Be safe, be smart.
- If you are outside, immediately move to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
- If no suitable or substantial structure is nearby, lie flat with your face down in the closest depression or ditch, protecting your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential of flooding.
- If you are in a school, hospital, factory, or shopping mall, go to interior rooms or halls on the lowest floor. Avoid glass-enclosed places and open areas such as warehouses and auditoriums.
- If you are in a high-rise building, get to the building’s tornado shelter. Stay away from exterior walls and windows. Do not use any elevator.
- Always crouch down and protect your head by covering it with your hands. Cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, heavy coats, etc.), to protect against falling or flying debris.
- If you are caught in your car, run to the nearest substantial structure.
- Do not attempt to flee from a tornado by car.
- Do not hide under an overpass. This is an extremely dangerous place to be during a tornado. Wind speeds actually increase under these overpasses and just about any tornado will blow you out. It also does not protect you from flying debris.
- Avoid driving through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. Cars can be swept away or may break down in moving water.
- If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and get to a sturdy building or higher ground.
- Remain indoors until the “all clear” notice is given by sirens (or lack of sirens), emergency management, or local law enforcement. Be aware that a
curfew may be imposed immediately following a major tornado to avoid looting and to keep you safe.
WHN TIP: Standing Still
If a tornado seems to be standing still then it is either traveling away from you or heading right for you.