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:
If You're in a House
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're in an Apartment
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 an Office or Mall
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 in a Car
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 like a lot to remember, but the more of these tips you know, the safer you'll be in any disaster.