Prepare NOW –
Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.

Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.

Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, become familiar with the warning tone.

Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.

Identify and practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level.

Consider constructing a safe room that meets FEMA or ICC 500 standards.

Survive DURING –
Immediately go to a safe location that you identified.

Take additional cover by shielding your head and neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around you.

Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.

Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

Be Safe AFTER –
Keep listening to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.

If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.

Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.

Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.

Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.

Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.

Take an Active Role in Your Safety

Go to and search for tornado.
Download the FEMA app to get more information about preparing for a tornado.
Find Emergency Safety Tips under Prepare.

Download Sawhorse Advisory

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