During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. 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. If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consult with your contractor about having a tornado safe room built during the process. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornado intensities are classified on the Fujita Scale with ratings between F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest).

Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. 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.
The Red Cross encourages those in tornado-prone areas to use the Tornado Safety Checklist, which provides information on what you can do before, during and after a tornado strikes. Although severe tornadoes are more common in the Plains States, tornadoes have been reported in every state.
Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.

If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know you are safe. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.

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