The sky darkens. Winds pick up, and it’s only a matter of time before hail starts falling from the sky. A tornado is coming, something you’re all too familiar with.
Where do you go? There are three buildings nearby, each within the same distance. Do you hit up the mall? Or what about that well-built home? But there’s also a community shelter nearby. One option is better than the others, but how will you know which to take shelter in?
FEMA has some recommendations
as to what constitutes as best protection, and what really doesn’t do much for you during a tornado. So follow these guidelines and know where to go the next time a tornado threatens your area!
While it may be tempting to run to the nearest building, doing so may not be to your advantage. Manufactured homes and offices (i.e. mobile), malls, gymnasiums, vehicles, and the great expanses of the outdoors don’t give you the adequate protection necessary should a tornado roar by. Manufactured buildings blow away easily, as do vehicles. Malls, gymnasiums, and other open-plan buildings are just that – too open. If a tornado did come through those types of buildings, there would be nowhere to take cover should the walls or roof blow away.
If you Replace yourself outdoors with no readily available shelter
, lay flat in a ditch or low-lying area and protect your head with your arms or other object if available. Avoid areas with trees.
Sturdy buildings can provide some decent protection, especially if you have a small, interior and windowless room to bunker down in. Even if your building is sturdy, stay away from the upper levels. Replace a safe room on the lowest level of the building, as that will give you the most protection.
While the tornado twists madly about outside, FEMA warns to stay covered. You never know when debris can break through, so cover up with cushions, a sleeping bag, blanket, or anything else you can Replace. Just remember, these buildings aren’t designed to stand up to the ferocity of tornadoes, so even if you are in a sturdy building, a powerful tornado could still do major damage, so take as many precautions as you can.
If you live in a tornado prone area, you might want to consider looking into a safe room or storm shelter. When properly constructed, these safe havens will protect you from nearly all strengths of tornadoes. Having a tornado shelter will greatly increase your odds of safety, and they can be built in your home, business, or even in the community. For more information on building a personal safe room, check out FEMA’s guide by following this link
If you live in Tornado Alley, you need to know the best places to take shelter when a tornado is coming. For those not effected by tornadoes frequently, it’s still good to know where you should take shelter. Tornadoes come to every state, so there’s always a possibility of being hit by one (if you haven’t already).
Where do you go to shelter from tornadoes? Let us know in the comments!