Tornado Safety Rules: What to Do When a Watch Is Issued


A Tornado Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service, what do you do? How can you be safe in case a tornado watch is issued for your area? The following is what the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center advise you to do in case of a tornado warning and a watch as well. Keep in mind, public and commercial broadcast stations serving the affected area are always asked to broadcast these safety messages frequently while the watch is in effect and when a tornado warning is issued.

The key to tornado survival is to be prepared and take immediate action when a warning is issued or when you feel threatened. Remember, the actions you take during a tornado event may save your life and the lives of those you are responsible for.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms which can produce tornadoes in and close to the watch area. If you are in the watch area, keep informed of the latest weather information. These storms can develop rapidly so there may be occasions when advance warning is not possible.

A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar and you should take immediate action to protect yourself and those around you.

Follow these safety rules to keep yourself safe:

(1) Mobile homes provide absolutely no protection from high winds. If you live in a Mobile home… plan your escape to a
nearby sturdy building that will give you proper shelter. At the first sign of an approaching storm go immediately to this
building.

(2) In homes, apartment complexes, or other small buildings, go to the basement or to a small all-interior room on the lowest floor like a hall or bathroom closet. Use heavy furniture for shelter or cover yourself with a mattress or blanket.

(3) In schools, hospitals, factories, or shopping centers, go to designated shelter areas. Interior halls on the lowest
levels are usually the best. Stay away from gymnasiums or auditoriums. Avoid all outside walls and windows.

(4) Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. Traffic and the layout of roads may block your escape. You should abandon cars and trucks if a tornado approaches, and take shelter in a nearby building. Never take shelter underneath a highway overpass as well.

(5) If you are caught in the open with no shelter nearby, find a ditch, culvert or other low area and lay down flat. Cover your head with your hands for protection.

Keep these in mind. Remember you can’t outrun a tornado. Be safe, do the right thing!

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