Staying Safe During a Tornado (Part III)

These tips help keep you safe if you find yourself in the path of a dangerous tornado.

If you’re in Your Car or Truck

Don’t attempt to outrun a tornado. It’s quicker than you and doesn’t have to stick to roads. Instead, safely go to the closest sturdy-looking building. Once there, park your vehicle outside of any traffic lanes and go inside. If you’re caught inside your vehicle: park, be sure your seat belt is on, put your head down under the windows, and cover your head and neck with a blanket, coat, seat cushion, or your hands. 

The vehicle’s airbags and frame will provide some protection. Don’t drive to an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a flat, open, low location.

If you’re Outside

If reaching shelter in time is not feasible, you have some options. If you can get close to a building, do so and squat next to a strong wall. If you’re completely out in the open, get away from cars, trees, and other possibly deadly debris. Lie face down flat in a ditch or low-lying space. Cover your neck and head.

After the Tornado

If you’re trapped by debris, FEMA suggests you don’t kick up dust, try to move, or push your way out. You might get injured and may make things worse for yourself. Instead, tap on a wall, pipe, or other material to make noise. Yell or whistle if you can so rescuers can find you.

When the storm has passed, check in with your loved ones to be sure nobody is harmed. Keep them together in the aftermath. Turn on your radio and for instructions from local officials and emergency personnel. Use great caution as you start to clean up. 

Stay away from damaged buildings, debris, and fallen power lines. Look out for broken glass and other sharp objects on the ground. Make sure to have on protective clothing while you handle debris and don’t attempt to lift heavy debris by yourself. If your power is gone out, use lamps and flashlights, not lighters, matches, or candles.