Tornadoes have struck nearly every locality in Virginia, killing hundreds and causing billions of dollars in damage.
Get your family ready for a tornado
- Know the terms:
- Tornado Watch: A tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information.
- Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.
- Decide now where you will go in case of a tornado warning. Keep this safe location uncluttered.
- Storm cellars or basements give the best protection.
- If an underground shelter is not available, go into a windowless interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
- If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
- A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Go to a nearby sturdy building, or lie down in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands. Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes.
- Keep your emergency supply kit in your shelter location.
- Practice a tornado drill at least once a year.
If you are away from home, take these steps:
- Open buildings (shopping mall, gym or civic center): Try to get into a restroom or interior hallway. If there is no time, get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris. Protect your head by covering it with your arms.
- Cars and trucks: Get out of your vehicle and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A culvert or ditch can provide shelter if a substantial building is not nearby. Lie down flat and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.