For many, tornadoes are a frightening phenomenon. Being ready to take action if a warning is issued can go a long way toward easing that fear. Knowing what to do during a tornado warning can be the difference between life and death. Remember the acronym DUCK when a tornado warning is issued.
D: Get DOWN
If you are inside a building, go to the basement or a windowless interior room on the lowest floor. Avoid hallways, stairwells, elevators, and windows. If you are outside, find a sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area away from trees, poles, and power lines. If you are in a car, stay in the car and drive away from the tornado at right angles to its path.
U: Get UNDER something sturdy
At home, underneath a staircase or a desk may be an option. A walk-in closet, as long as it is not on an exterior wall, would be great. Under a bed is another good idea. In the basement, if you have a workbench or the like, that is a good candidate. If you have an interior bathroom, get in the tub and pull a mattress or blankets over you.
(Bonus reminder: preparing your home shelter)
Once you have found shelter, stay tuned to a local radio or television station to stay informed of the situation. Have a plan to quickly turn off electricity and gas if necessary, and prepare a disaster supply kit with items such as a first-aid kit, flashlights, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries.
C: COVER Your Head
Cover your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, or a blanket. If possible, wear a helmet or other protective clothing. Listen for the sound of the tornado and remain alert for any changes in the wind.
K: KEEP in shelter until the warning is over
When a tornado is over, it is important to remain in your shelter until the warning is lifted. Winds behind the tornado have been known to be over 100 mph and. After the storm has passed, be careful when leaving your shelter. Stay alert for downed power lines, broken glass, and other debris.