How to stay safe during a tornado

5:48 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- Since tornadoes often strike with little or no warning, you need to be prepared before a severe storm strikes.

The USATODAY.com Guide to tornado safety has information on what to do to prepare for tornadoes, how to stay safe after a tornado hits, and more.

One of the most important things you can do, if you life in an area where tornados hit, is to build a safe room in your house.

If a tornado warning is issued for your location, take the following steps immediately if you are at home:

  • Go at once to the basement, storm cellar, or the lowest level of the building.
  • If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway or a smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
  • Get away from the windows.
  • Go to the center of the room. Debris can sometimes come through walls..
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • If you have time, get a mattress or blankets to protect your head and the heads of any children with you. If you don't have time, use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you live in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere in a permanent building.
 
A tornado could threaten you when you are away from home, in a car, a building, or a park. Here are several steps you can take:.

If at work or school:

  • Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.


If outdoors:

  • If possible, get inside a building.
  • If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
  • Use arms to protect head and neck.


If in a car:

  • Never try to out drive a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and toss it through the air.
  • Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.


Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency


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