Saint Louis University

During a tornado:


       If you are inside a structure (e.g. residence, school, shopping center or high-rise building):

  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, or the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hallway, away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Get under a sturdy table or piece of furniture and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • Do not open windows.

      If you are in a vehicle:

  • Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter.
  • Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware of the potential for flooding.
  • Do not get under your vehicle, or a highway overpass or bridge; you are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Watch out for flying debris. (Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.)

Before a tornado:

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Listen to NOAA All Hazard Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
  • Look for approaching storms and for the following danger signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train
  • Be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Modified from FEMA information