What to Do in Specific Emergency Situations
Tornadoes are generated from powerful thunderstorms and appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds that extends to the ground with winds that can reach 250 miles per hour and can strike with little or no warning. If you and your customers are caught in a tornado, understand and adhere to the following:
- A tornado watch is issued when tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
- A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
- Be aware of tornado danger signs, which can include dark sky, large hail,
a large, low-flying cloud, and a loud roar similar to a train.
- Flying debris causes most tornado-related fatalities and injuries. Protect yourself from flying debris by crouching under sturdy furniture and/or wrapping yourself in blankets or coats for added protection.
- Be on the lookout for fallen power lines after the storm.
- Move to a pre-designated shelter, preferably an underground structure
such as a basement.
- If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of the building and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Stairways are sturdy structures that are good to shelter under. Use arms and hands to protect your head and neck. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- Stay away from and do not open windows.
- Stay away from building corners because they attract debris.
- Mobile structures, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
- You should leave a mobile structure and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.
- Avoid large open areas and places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias,
or shopping malls.
- Bus and Van: In a vehicle, do not attempt to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas.
- Instead, leave the vehicle immediately and move yourself and your passengers to a safe shelter. The lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter would be best. Stay away from windows and open spaces.
- Bus and Van: If driving in open country, drive at a right angle away from the tornado’s path. If you cannot avoid the tornado, get yourself and your passengers out of your vehicle. Have everyone lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch, culvert, or ravine. Direct people to protect their head and stay low to the ground.
- Rail: Be aware of weather conditions conducive to tornadoes and be alert for situations where you see a tornado touch down. If you see a tornado touching down, notify your control center and follow their instructions.