Emergency Management News

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the Path of a Tornado

Tornado Preparedness Graphic
This spring, learn how to prepare and react should a tornado watch or warning be issued for your area.  

This April, there have been tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

Do you know if your neighborhood is at risk for tornadoes? The tips to stay safe in a tornado are simple and easy to practice.

Whether you find yourself in a building, in a vehicle or outside during a storm, Ready.gov provides the following specific actions to stay safe.

In apartments, houses, small buildings or high-rises: 
  • Go to a pre-designated area or safe room designed and built to Federal Emergency Management Agency P-361 criteria or tornado storm shelter built to ICC 500 criteria.
  • If a safe room is not available or you are unable to move there safely, take shelter in a basement, storm cellar, or to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

In a mobile home or office:
  • Leave immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

Outside with no shelter  
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt, and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or another cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge.

For more information, visit the Ready.gov Tornadoes page and download the Prepareathon How to Prepare for a Tornado guide.

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