When severe weather threatens and it’s not safe to evacuate, here is what you should do to protect yourself and loved ones in your house, apartment, or mobile home.
You should not leave your home in your vehicle when a tornado threatens. In most cases, you will have a better chance of surviving by staying put in your home, experts say.
Here are the safest spots to take shelter in your home according to the National Weather Service:
A small interior closet might be a shelter. Again, the closet should be as deep inside the building as possible, with no outside walls, doors or windows. Be sure to close the door.
If a hallway is your shelter area, be sure to shut all doors. Again, the goal is to create as many barriers as possible between you and the flying debris in and near a tornado. To be an effective shelter, a hallway should as be far inside the building as possible and should not have any openings to the outside (windows and doors).
The space underneath a stairwell could be used as a shelter.
If you live in an apartment, get to the lowest floor possible, with as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
Experts suggest apartment residents should be well prepared with a plan, especially those who live on the upper floors.
In some cases, the apartment clubhouse or laundry room may be used as a shelter, provided the basic safety guidelines are followed.
It is vital for residents to have a designated shelter area that’s accessible to them at all times.
Mobile homes are especially susceptible to high winds from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Taking shelter in a hallway, closet, or bathroom in a mobile home won’t serve a great amount of protection.
Experts advise those who live in mobile homes should make plans to get to a safe shelter BEFORE the storm arrives.
Due to the potentially short amount of time between a warning and the arrival of a tornado, families should execute their safety plans when a tornado watch is issued, rather than waiting for the tornado warning.