Tornado Watch and Warning Safety Tips


by Indiana Department of Homeland Security

During a tornado watch
•    Locate your disaster kit or quickly gather a few essential items including:
o    An battery operated all hazards radio, or local radio receiver
o    Flashlight and extra batteries
o    Sturdy shoes and protective clothing (long sleeved shirt, long pants, etc.)
o    First aid kit
o    Food and water to sustain you and your household for at least 3 days.
•    Listen to local radio or television broadcasts or an all hazards alert radio for updated information.
•    Look for approaching storms and the following danger signs:
o    Dark, often greenish sky
o    Large hail
o    Large, dark, low-lying, or funnel-shaped cloud extending from the sky. Pay particular attention if the cloud appears to be rotating.
o    Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, or you see an approaching storm or any of the above danger signs, take shelter immediately.

If you are in a home or other building
•    Seek shelter in a basement or cellar, or an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, putting as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
•    If you are in a high-rise you may not have time to get to the building’s lowest floor. Pick a hallway in the center of the building.
•    Stay in the center of the room, away from exterior walls, windows and doors.
•    Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table and hold onto it.
•    Use blankets, pillows or your arms to protect you head and neck.
•    Do NOT open windows.

If you are in a vehicle, trailer or mobile home
•    GET OUT immediately. Even if tied down, mobile homes offer little or no protection from tornadoes.
•    Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy building or a storm shelter nearby.
•    NEVER try to out drive a tornado in a vehicle. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car or truck and toss it through the air.
•    Even if there is no time to get indoors, GET OUT of the vehicle or mobile home.

If you are outside with no shelter
•    Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression, (beware of the potential for flooding) or crouch near a strong building.
•    Cover your head with your hands.
•    Do NOT get under an overpass or bridge. Wind speeds actually increase under them and can suck you out. You are safer in a low, flat location.
•    Beware of flying debris which is the cause of most fatalities and injuries.