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These images show: a tornado, a radar image of a tornado, places where it is dangerous to be during a tornado, and a weather radio.
Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), National Weather Service Forecast Office of Paducah, Kentucky, Alicia Pearce, Vanessa Pearce

Tornado Safety

It is important to be ready for tornadoes because they are very dangerous. You and your family should make a plan for where you should go to be safe if there is a tornado where you are. Most places like schools, shopping malls, hospitals, and office buildings have a plan for a safe place where people can go during a tornado. It is a good idea to practice for a tornado. This is called a tornado drill. Also, before going outside, you should check the weather or the forecast.

A basement can provide a great shelter when there is a tornado warning. If a building or house does not have a basement, then a bathroom or closet in the center of the house on the first floor will work. It is important that you and your family stay away from windows. Everyone should be crouched on the ground as low as possible, facing down, and covering their heads.

Automobiles and mobile homes are unsafe places to be during a tornado. If you are outside or in a vehicle, then go to a nearby ditch and lie flat. Only go into a ditch if you canít find a sturdy building nearby. Bridges are not sturdy buildings.

Make sure to be on the lookout for any bad weather in the area. Tune into local television stations for the latest updates on tornado watches or warnings.

Last modified August 1, 2008 by Vanessa Pearce.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA