How to stay safe if a tornado threatens?

How dangerous is a tornado?

  • Tornados are hard to see, due to the invisibility of wind, unless a funnel of water droplets, dirt, dust, and debris forms.
  • Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms.

What is the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning?

  • A Tornado Watch is issued when weather conditions are favorable for tornadic development.
  • A Tornado Warning is issues by our local National Weather Service when radar, or locally trained weather spotters, identify tornadic activity actually occurring.

How to stay safe?

Before a Tornado Warning is issued:

•Understand the signs of a tornado: funnel shape cloud, approaching debris, loud roar (similar to freight train)

•Sign up for emergency notification alert systems due to minimal warning time between notification and tornado impacts

•Identify a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of your home or workplace

When a Tornado Warning is issued:

•Immediately go to the safe room identified

•Seek additional cover for your head and neck like blankets or furniture to protect your head and neck from debris and glass

•Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle

•Monitor weather alerts with weather radio, local emergency alert systems, and local authorities

After Tornado passes:

•If trapped, cover your mouth with cloth, t-shirt, or mask to avoid breathing dust. Send a text message, bang on pipe or wall, or whistle instead of shout

•Do not enter damaged buildings and steer clear of fallen powerlines

•Listen to Emergency Alert Systems, weather radio, and local authorities for updates

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For more information:

For additional tips and safety tips, please see the following FEMA information.