5 tornado safety tips

Don't mess around - if you need to take shelter, take shelter. Period.

Tornadoes are terrifying, that’s no secret. It’s not fun to think about them – it kind of sends a shiver down your spine, doesn’t it? But by familiarizing yourself with tornado safety, you can be prepared ahead of time.

Tornado safety tips.

1. Scout a safe place in your home where your family (plus pets) can shelter.

Ideally, you would go to an interior room on the lowest level of the house with NO windows. (This could be a bathroom, a hallway, or a closet.) Make sure that your entire family knows what to do if there’s severe weather and that they know which room is the “safe room”.

2. When the weather looks icky, stay tuned to the radio/weather alerts. 

A couple terms to know:

TORNADO WATCH – conditions are ideal for the formation of a tornado

TORNADO WARNING – a tornado has been sighted close to you. Take shelter immediately.

Again, make sure that your family understands these terms and that they know when to take shelter. (Also, find out how your area signals tornadoes. Will there be sirens? If there will be news or radio broadcasts that give severe weather alerts by county, make sure your kids know what county you’re in.)

3. Know the danger signs.

Look/listen for:

  • Dark, greenish clouds (this is caused by hail, weirdly enough)
  • Wall clouds (which is when the bottom of a thunderstorm lowers)
  • Clouds of debris swirling about
  • A loud rumbling sound, like a freight train

4. Know what to do when you get to the safe room.

If you and your family do have to go to your safe room, get under a sturdy piece of furniture like a table. Use blankets, pillows, mattresses, and so on to cover your bodies. Protect your heads especially. Flying debris is a major danger during tornadoes and this can protect you.

5. If you’re outside or driving…

If you’re outside when a tornado happens, get to shelter – preferably a building with a safe place and/or basement. If you’re driving, don’t attempt to beat the tornado. Get to the nearest shelter.

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