An average of 1,253 tornadoes occur in the United States every year. With this staggering number in mind, it's important to know how to stay safe during a tornado. Whether you're at home, at work, or on the road, taking the necessary precautions can help you and your loved ones stay out of harm's way. Tornadoes are among the most destructive natural disasters, causing widespread damage and loss of life.
If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it’s important to know what to do in case of an emergency. In this blog post, we'll discuss tips on how to stay safe during a tornado and provide resources to help you in the event of an emergency.
If in doubt, wait it out
When a tornado warning is issued, it's crucial to take it seriously and act quickly. Don't take any chances—move to a safe place immediately and stay there until the danger has passed. Avoid driving unless it's necessary, as being in a car is one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado.
The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement or storm shelter. If that's not available, move to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Do your best to avoid windows and exterior walls in your home too.
Get on the ground, cover yourself with blankets, pillows, or a mattress to protect against flying debris, and stay away from windows. For those in mobile homes, evacuate immediately and seek shelter in a stable, permanent structure, preferably one with a basement. If you're outside without shelter, move away from trees and other vehicles, lie face down on the ground, and cover the back of your head with your arms. Doing this will protect you from flying debris.
Staying safe on the road
If you're driving and see a tornado approaching, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at a right angle to the tornado. However, if you're caught in high winds and flying debris, pull over and park your car as safely as possible out of traffic.
Try to park below the level of the roadway. But don't park under a bridge or overpass, because these can be dangerous during strong winds and debris. Stay seated, put your head below the windows, and cover your head with your hands or a blanket if you keep one in your vehicle.
Resources to know about
During a tornado, you may need various resources and information to stay safe. Our LOOPlex facility offers a secure temporary shelter with heat, electricity, and ample space. If you're struggling to find a safe location, please contact us for assistance.
For inquiries about your car insurance protection, our LOOP Care Team can be reached at 1-844-544-LOOP (5667). If you're stranded or your vehicle is doesn’t work, call the Motorists Helpline at 1-800-525-5555. In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
It's crucial to be familiar with additional resources and strategies to guarantee your safety during a tornado. The National Weather Service (NWS) provides updated weather alerts and warnings, including tornado watches and warnings. Keep a battery-powered weather radio or check local news channels for real-time updates.
In some areas, community tornado shelters are available for those who can't leave their homes or lack a safe space. Familiarize yourself with shelter locations in your community and plan your route in advance. Make an emergency kit with food, water, flashlight, batteries, charger, first aid kit, and medications to stay safe and comfortable if you can't leave your home.
In addition to these resources, invest in a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio for real-time severe weather updates, including tornado warnings. These types of weather radios are available on most online stores like Amazon and Best Buy.
Make sure it has battery backup and a tone-alert feature that'll automatically notify you of warnings. Establish a family communication plan so everyone knows what to do and how to contact one another in the event of a tornado. Make sure all family members are aware of the plan and have emergency contact numbers saved or written down.
If you can't leave your home during a tornado, seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor. Also remember to protect yourself with blankets, pillows, or a mattress so you’re not injured by debris or glass. If possible, turn off utilities such as gas, water, and electricity to minimize fire risk or damage from broken lines.
Stay safe out there
Tornadoes pose a significant threat, but by taking the necessary precautions, you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember to wait it out if in doubt, take shelter in a basement or interior room, and avoid driving if possible. Stay safe, and don't hesitate to reach out if you need help or have any questions.