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Florida International University - Electrical and Computer Engineering
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What to do during a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head. If available, put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect yourself from head injuries.

If you are in a structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building):

  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level.
  • If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, 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 and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • If available, put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect yourself from head injuries.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.

If you are in a trailer or mobile home:

  • Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If you are outside with no shelter:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.