Everyone’s living condition is different. Some people are in homes, other have basements, many have manufactured homes, and there are a large number of occupants in dorms and apartments. When that moment strikes and the alerts are blaring this tornado season, it’s important to know how to take cover and be able to do it fast.
It can mean life or death when it comes to tornadoes, so it’s best to have a plan in the event of one. Arm your home with a security system and alerts that will sound when a tornado or severe storm is nearby. Many towns also have local sirens that will sound and are frequently tested. Make sure everyone in your home knows the plan if you’re told to take cover.
At Home, No Basement
Interior hallways, closets, and bathrooms are the best places if no basement or underground shelter is available. Have a pile of coats and blankets stashed nearby to protect from flying debris.
Manufactured or Mobile Home
These are not safe even when tied down. Know where to go if you live in one of these communities. Many will have a shelter for this purpose nearby, or know a local business or community center that is easily accessible in a short amount of time. Before a storm gets to the take cover level, be in your designated spot.
In the Car or Traveling
This is the most dangerous situation to be in during a tornado. First, try to find a solid building, store or other, that will provide a safe shelter. If you’re on open roads, and traffic is light, drive in a right angle direction away from the path of the tornado. Avoid parking under overpasses. This creates a traffic hazard for those trying to get to safety. The bridge, if hit, can collapse and injure those under it. If caught in the middle of strong winds you should park the car quickly and safely. Remain in the car, keep the safety belt on, and put your head below window level with your hands covering the back of your head and neck. If a coat or blanket is in the vehicle, cover yourself with it.
If shelter cannot be found in a sturdy building, get out in the open. Avoid areas that have any trees or cars, they are likely to cause harm.
Mall, Stores, and Other Businesses
Be aware of what others are doing. Seek shelter in the innermost part of the building. Some places have stairways, bathrooms, and designated areas that are built for these purposes.
Multi Floor Buildings, Apartments, ECT
Get away from windows and to the innermost part of the structure. Stairwells are safe in this situation. Try to get to the lowest level you can as quickly and safely as possible. Avoid elevators. If the electricity goes out, you could get trapped.