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What to do when in the path of a tornado
Learn how to prepare and react should a tornado watch or warning
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 or tornado storm shelter designed and built to Federal Emergency Management Agency standards.
- 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.
(Updated Aug. 24, 2021)