Escaping these vicious demons

Safety Precautions

Look for the following danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish sky

  • Large hail

  • A large, dark, low-lying (particularly if rotating) cloud

  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately. To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan.Thinking and planning ahead can significantly reduce dangers of a tornado. It is important that those in your department discuss and develop a tornado emergency plan for your area.

Tornado Watch Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

Tornado Warning A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately. Be alert to changing weather conditions.

If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!

  • Take notice of the environment, building, and rooms where you spend much of your time.

  • Identify the best areas to take protective cover during a tornado as well as the possible exits from the building.

  • Have a flashlight, a battery powered radio and spare batteries in case the power is off.

  • Have a first aid kit available. Know who in your department is certified in First Aid and CPR.

  • Go to the emergency assembly point once the building you are in has been evacuated. Stay away from damaged buildings, power lines and trees.



  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area, i.e. basement, safe room, or lowest building level

  • Stay away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls

  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside

  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck

Vehicle or trailer:

  • Get out and immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy building or storm shelter.


  • Lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.

  • Do NOT take cover under an overpass or bridge.

  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas. Take cover immediately.

  • Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.