Preparing for a disaster at home is key to staying safe in the event of an emergency. However, every home is different, and the likelihood of you being away from home when a disaster occurs means you should prepare for as many possible situations as you can. For tornado safety, the guidelines can vary depending on where you are at the time of a storm. Here are some safety tips to help you in any situation:
The safest place to be in a house is on the lowest floor and away from windows. Choose a room on the interior of the home's layout so that you have as many walls between you and the outside as possible. If your house has a basement, sheltering there is your best option, though small windowless bathrooms and closets can also work well.
If you live in an apartment, it can be a bit trickier to follow the general guidelines regarding basements and windows. Apartments on upper floors are at greater risk than those below, so if you can find a place to shelter on the ground floor, either with a neighbor or in a common area, you should consider it. If these options aren't available to you, choose an interior room like a bathroom.
If you're in a multi-story commercial or office building during a storm, it's not always easy to get to the ground floor in a hurry. However, finding an interior room without windows is still a good option for safety. Supply closets, conference rooms and bathrooms are worth considering, but beware falling objects from shelves or cabinets. Otherwise, a stairwell is a structurally sound place to be during a tornado, ideally as close to the ground as possible.
If you're driving when a tornado touches down, don't try to drive away from it. Instead, park and find shelter inside a building as quickly as possible. Avoid driving underneath bridges or overpasses, as they can be extremely dangerous in strong winds.
It might seem likea lot to remember, but the more of these tips you know, the safer you'll be in any disaster.