A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air.
What to do during a tornado:
- Get inside a building if possible. At a developed campground, the restroom may be the best option.
- If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
- If your car is nearby, get into the vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Do not try to outdrive a tornado.
- 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 lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands
- NEVER take shelter under a bridge or an overpass. The wind funnels debris under these structures, making these debris into weapons that could strike anyone hiding underneath. You are much safer in a ditch or low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
Remember: You are responsible for your safety and for the safety of those around you.