Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
Nature's Most Violent Storms, A Preparedness Guide, USDC, NOAA, NWS
Show All Answers
If you see a tornado while you are driving, stop your car and get out. Find the lowest spot, such as a ditch, and lie flat on the ground. Cover your head with your hands. Do not seek shelter beneath overpasses as wind speeds can be higher in narrow passages. Never try to out-drive a tornado.
In schools and office buildings, go to a designated shelter. If there is not one, the safest place is in the basement or an interior hallway on the lowest floor. In shopping centers, move as far away from glass doors and windows as possible. If you are in a building with a large-span roof, such as a gymnasium or auditorium, seek shelter elsewhere.
Once a tornado has passed, the danger is not over. In fact, half of all tornado-related injuries occur following the storm. Before you leave your shelter, look outside and assess potential hazards. While inspecting the damage, cleaning up and living without power, take the following precautions:
The warning sirens are designed to be "outdoor" warning sirens only. They are for people who may be outside away from other sources of information. All citizens should have an NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio. When the weather is threatening, you should rely on the All-Hazards radio, and broadcast media for the most reliable information. If the forecasters say to take cover, please do so immediately. Do not wait to hear the warning siren. For more information on the system capabilities and limitations, please see our Outdoor Warning System page.