Weather Events

How can you stay safe if a tornado strikes while you're at home?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. First, it's important to remember that there is no safe place in a mobile home during a tornado. So if you live in a mobile home, take time before a tornado arrives to determine what nearby structure can provide you with shelter. If there is no sturdier building you can get to in time, then your best bet is to leave the mobile home and find the lowest-lying ground you can get to. Lie flat with your arms over your head for protection.

    If you live in a sturdy home with a foundation, stay inside and try to keep low. If you have a strong piece of furniture like a dining room table, you can hide underneath. You want to get out of the way of falling and flying objects. Curl yourself into a ball and cover your head with your arms. If there is no furniture you can use as protection, you can crouch under a doorframe. While this might not protect you from flying objects, the frame will provide some protection from collapse.

    Conventional wisdom holds that you should open the windows during a tornado. It's true that opening windows can equalize the air pressure exerted on your house, but it's far more important that you get someplace safe - - which is far away from the windows! If you can't get away from the windows, get under a heavy blanket, a mattress or anything that can protect you from flying glass, should the windows break.

    There are several other steps you can follow to maximize your safety during and immediately after a tornado:

    • Don't light a fire of any kind unless you're sure there's no gas leak.

    • Treat injuries with your first aid kit, but don't move anyone who might have a serious injury. When you can, call an ambulance for anyone with serious injuries.

    • Stay away from windows and get to the lowest level you can - - basements are best.

    • Keep track of emergency updates by listening to a radio.

    • Use your emergency supply kit.

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