How to Survive a Natural Disaster Tornadoes

About how to survive a natural disaster, specifically information about tornadoes.

How to Survive a Disaster



How to Prepare. When a tornado watch is announced, it means that tornadoes are expected in or near your area. Listen for advice on the radio or television. Watch the sky, especially to the south and southwest. (When a tornado watch is announced during the approach of a hurricane, however, keep watching the sky to the east.) If you see any revolving, funnel-shaped clouds, report them by telephone to your local police or weather bureau. Do not use the telephone to ask for additional information.

When a tornado warning is issued, take shelter immediately. The warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted, and this (or other tornadoes) may strike in your vicinity. Your best protection is an underground shelter or cave, or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced-concrete building.

During the Disaster. If you are at home, go to your underground storm cellar or basement fallout shelter, if you have one. If not, go to a corner of your home basement and take cover under a sturdy workbench or table (but not underneath heavy appliances on the floor above). If your home has no basement, take cover under heavy furniture on the ground floor in the center part of the house, or in a small room on the ground floor that is away from outside walls and windows. (As a last resort, go outside to a nearby ditch, excavation, culvert, or ravine.) Doors and windows on the sides of your house away from the tornado may be left open to help reduce damage to the building, but stay away from them to avoid flying debris. Do not remain in a trailer or mobile home.

If you are at work in an office building, go to the basement or to an inner hallway on a lower floor. In a factory, go to a shelter area, or to the basement if there is one.

If you are outside in open country, drive away from the tornado's path, at a right angle to it. If there isn't time to do this, or if you are walking, take cover and lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch, culvert, excavation, or ravine.

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