The American Red Cross recommends the following safety tips when a severe thunderstorm warning is issued:
• If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
• If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning, so go indoors. The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.
• Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
• Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.
• Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
• If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.
• If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
The American Red Cross recommends the following safety tips when a tornado watch is issued.
• The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
• If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
• Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
• Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.
• If you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately.
• Go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately, using your seat belt if driving.
• Do not wait until you see the tornado.
If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:
• Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
• If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
• If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.