Family Protection Program: Tornado Safety Tips and Recovery



  • Severe thunderstorms: Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and strong winds.
  • Hail: Bullets of ice from a dark, cloudy sky.
  • Roaring noise: Like ten jet planes or a hundred railroad trains.
  • Funnel: A dark, spinning "rope" or column from the sky to the ground.

Listen to radio and television broadcasts to determine the situation.

A tornado watch means that conditions are right for a tornado to develop. Remain alert for approaching storms by monitoring your local emergency radio and television stations for information.

A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted. Seek shelter immediately!


  • Stay out of cars, mobile homes and trailers. If in any of these, get out and take cover by lying flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or depression.
  • If walking outside, find the nearest ditch and lie flat in it.
  • In the home, move to a basement or lowest level. Try to locate yourself in a windowless room. If possible get under a heavy table or workbench.
  • In the workplace, go to interior hallways in the lowest floor of the building or seek a sheltered area.
  • In schools, follow instructions of school authorities. Move to interior walls, away from the wide spanning roofs.
  • A good investment in tornado preparedness is a Weather Radio that broadcasts only severe weather information as the National Weather Service releases it. Severe weather radios are available in most radio stores.


  • Listen to local radio or television stations for information and instructions.
  • Use caution when entering a building, making sure that the walls, ceiling, and roof are in place and that the structure rests firmly on the foundation.
  • Watch for broken glass, downed power lines, and leaking natural gas lines. Check for injuries and if necessary, call for help immediately.
  • Have tools available and know how to shut off gas, water, and electric service to your house.