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Seek inside shelter, if possible. If in the open, move away from a tornado's path at a right angle. If there is no time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch or ravine.

  • IN OFFICE BUILDINGS: The basement or an interior hallway on a lower floor is the safest. Upper stories are unsafe. If there is no time to descend, a closet or small room with stout walls, or an inside hallway will give some protection against flying debris. Otherwise, under heavy furniture must do.
  • IN HOMES WITH BASEMENTS: Seek refuge near the basement wall in the most sheltered and deepest below the ground part of the basement. Additional protection is afforded by taking cover under heavy furniture or a workbench. Other basement possibilities are the smallest rooms with stout walls, or under a stairway.
  • IN HOMES WITHOUT BASEMENTS: Take cover in the smallest room with stout walls, or under heavy furniture, or a tipped-over upholstered couch or chair in the center part of the house. The first floor is safer than the second. If there is time, open windows partly on the side away from the direction of the storm's approach but stay away from windows when the storm strikes.
  • MOBILE HOMES: Are particularly vulnerable to overturning and destruction during strong winds, and should be abandoned in favor of a preselected shelter, or even a ditch in the open.
  • FACTORIES, AUDITORIUMS, AND OTHER LARGE BUILDINGS: With wide, freespan roofs, should have preselected, marked shelter areas in their basements, smaller rooms, or nearby.
  • PARKED CARS: Are unsafe as shelter during a tornado or severe windstorm.
  • PERSONAL PREPARATIONS: Should include availability of a battery operated radio, in case of power loss; knowledge of safety rules and how to tell if a tornado or severe thunderstorm is approaching; and change of family plans in order to remain near shelter during a severe local storm threat.

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