Tornadoes are one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces.  These are some tips on how to prepare for a tornado and what to do if you're caught in a twister's path.

Tornado Safety Tips

  • Know the danger signs of a tornado. They include dark, often greenish clouds, large hail, a funnel cloud, a roaring noise. Look for whirling dust or debris under a cloud base. Some tornadoes don't have funnel clouds.
  • Know tornado watches and tornado warnings. A "watch" means that a tornado is possible in the next several hours so you should be ready to move to a safe place quickly. A "warning" means that a tornado has been spotted in your area. When a warning has been issued it's time to move to a safer location.
  •  Prepare for tornadoes by gathering emergency supplies including food, water, medications, batteries flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
  • Move lawn furniture if time permits. Strong winds can turn deck chairs into projectiles.
  • Take shelter preferably in a basement or an interior room or under a stairwell.
  • Avoid windows and seek additional protection by getting underneath large, solid pieces of furniture or cover yourself with a mattress.
  • Avoid automobiles and mobile homes, which provide almost no protection from tornadoes.
  • Those caught outside should lie flat and face down on the lowest ground you can reach.
  • Use your arms to protect the back of your head. Try and stay away from trees if possible, since they can be knocked over and land on you.