Tornadoes can happen during any time of year - day or night. Knowing what to do when you see or hear a tornado can help protect you and your family.
Before a tornado:
During a tornado:
- Be prepared for severe weather. Organize a storm kit.
- Be alert by listening to a weather radio, television newscast or your local tornado sirens.
- If you see a dark or greenish sky, large hail, a low-lying cloud and hear a loud roar similar to a freight train, a tornado could be approaching. Seek shelter immediately.
After a tornado:
- Go to a basement, storm cellar or lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put on sturdy shoes and do not open windows.
- Trailers or mobile homes offer little protection. Get out immediately. Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter.
- If you are in a car, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Do not get under an overpass or bridge - you’ll be safer in a low, flat location. If the vehicle gets hit by flying debris, pull over and park and stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your hands and a blanket or coat if possible.
Ready.gov tornado preparation
NOAA – National Severe Storms Laboratory tornado basics
- Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
- Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, there may be a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. If there is damage to your home or you smell gas or burning, shut off any natural gas appliances or turn off the electrical system by the main circuit breaker and call 911.
- Be careful when exiting or entering any damaged building, and cooperate fully with public safety officials.