Severe Spring Weather


sponsored by:


Tornadoes can happen at any time of the year, and at any time during the day or night. Contrary to what some may believe, tornadoes can and do cross rivers, mountains, and big cities. For these reasons, it is very important to have a plan of action in case of a tornado.




Once in shelter, take the protection position. Where do I go?


Reinforced shelters


A basement or underground shelter is the best option. Protect your head and eyes from deadly flying debris. If no basement is available, go to an interior area on the lowest floor, such as a bathroom or closet. If possible get under something sturdy like a bench or table. Always stay away from windows!


If you are Outdoors

If you can drive away from the tornado, do so. On average, tornadoes move at 35 -45 MPH, so driving away would be the first course of action.  If you can’t drive away from the tornado, as would be the case if you were driving directly toward the tornado on a divided highway or were stuck in slow moving traffic, abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in a nearby structure, such as a house or other well built structure. If no buildings are available and driving away is not an option: Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.


NEVER seek shelter under a bridge or overpass.


In a Mobile Home?


Evacuate immediately! Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to overturning and destruction from strong winds and tornadoes. Tie-downs generally will not protect a mobile home from tornadoes. If possible, leave the mobile home and go to a community shelter. If none is available, a ditch, culvert, or other low lying area may offer better protection. Have a plan of action prepared before a storm hits.


At School, Work, Shopping or in Other Buildings?


Stay indoors! Avoid cars, buses, or any other vehicle. Follow plans made in advance to go to a basement, an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid the end of any hallway that opens to the outside as well as rooms with windows or outside walls. Stay out of auditoriums or any other

structure with wide free-span roofs, as these types of structures are quite vulnerable to tornadic winds. Once you are in shelter, crouch down and cover your head.