It’s a common misconception that tornadoes only occur in the so-called Tornado Alley in the United States.
Tornadoes can touch down in practically any part of the country, whether it’s densely populated and urban or rural and sparsely located. So, for everyone, we must understand how to protect ourselves.
At US Safe Rooms in Dallas, we recommend all our clients to invest in tornado shelters and safe rooms so that they can remain secure. But, for those who may not have the facility to seek shelter in a safe room immediately, what do you do?
Here are some tips we think might help.
How to Stay Safe During a Tornado
– Seek Shelter
If a tornado warning is issued and you’re outdoors, seek shelter immediately. Go into a covered parking garage or any place where you can find a central place without any windows. Crouch behind a structure and cover your head with your arms. Remember, you cannot remain outside if there is a tornado.
– Don’t Make Mistakes
Here are some misconceptions you shouldn’t follow about tornado safety:
- Staying in your car
- Staying outside under an awning
- Hiding behind a tree
- Seeking protection under a bridge
None of these tricks will do you any good. You’ll likely be swept away or hit by debris flying at fast speed.
– Don’t Stay in the Car
It must be repeated; YOU CANNOT STAY IN THE VEHICLE. While some people think staying in the vehicle with your head down and seatbelt on would help, it’s more dangerous since your vehicle can get swept up and thrown away.
Your best chance at safety is to get out of the vehicle, go far from it, and find a ditch where you can lie flat while covering your head and neck with a jacket or blanket.
– Do Not Panic
It’s easier said than done. But if you don’t want to be crushed under a stampede of people, move away from the crowd and watch out for others.
If you’re in a shopping mall, a large store, a movie theatre or a church, seek shelter in a storage room, an interior bathroom, any place that’s small and enclosed, and away from windows. Put away anything that could be harmful like chemicals or heavy objects on the floor, crouch down, and stretch your jacket over your head.
When a Tornado is Approaching…
Especially during tornado season, keep an eye on the local weather news.
If a tornado watch is issued, go home and prepare your tornado shelter right away. Also, check beforehand if there’s a community shelter in the area. This’ll make it easier for you to find safety if you’re out and about, and will assure you that you have a Plan B.