Tornado Safety

Tornado Safety - Printable Version

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Tornado Safety in Oklahoma

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth. In an average year, about 54 tornadoes strike the state of Oklahoma. The good news is you CAN survive a tornado and greatly reduce your chances of being hurt of killed by following some very basic advice.

Stay Informed:

  • Pay attention to the weather, especially in the spring when thunderstorms are most frequent.
  • Use all the information sources available to find out if severe storms are possible and to track them once they’re occurring.
  • Local televisions stations, AM/FM radio, the Internet and NOAA Weather Radio are also reliable sources of weather information.

Have a Safety Plan:

Tornadoes hit most often from March through June during the late afternoon and early evening hours, but they can happen at any time of the day or night and at any time of the year.

  • Have a safety plan for wherever you might be when a tornado strikes – school, work, church, home, shopping, traveling, etc.
  • Think through your plan in advance, since there may not be much time to act once the tornado is approaching you.
  • Practice your plan and be sure all family members know what to do.

Learn How to Protect Yourself:

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can develop suddenly, sometimes even before a warning is issued.

When a tornado or severe thunderstorm is close by, remember these guidelines:


  • Get as far inside a strong building as you can.
  • Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.


  • Get as low as possible to avoid flying debris.
  • Go to the lowest floor possible. Being underground is best.


  • Use whatever you can find – pillows, blankets, mattresses, sleeping bags – to protect yourself from flying and falling debris.
  • Wear a helmet if you have one to protect your head from debris.

Attempting to shelter outside in a ditch, under an overpass, in a vehicle or in a mobile home provides little or no protection from even a weak tornado. The best course of action is to plan ahead and avoid being caught in these places during a storm. If you are trapped, try to get to a sturdy structure as quickly as possible and GET IN – GET DOWN – COVER UP!

Other Tips for Tornado Survival:

  • Have a battery-operated Weather Radio with the warning alarm devise to alert you to dangerous storms while you’re sleeping or not watching local television.
  • Have multiple ways to get warning information.
  • If you feel threatened, go to your safe place quickly. Don’t wait for a warning or a siren to sound.

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Site Updated 4/2/2008
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