Key to tornado survival is safety plan

Properly sheltering yourself and your family during a tornado can make the difference between life and death.
by Bryan Painter Published: March 9, 2014
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The key to tornado survival is a safety plan. Your plan at home should be known by everyone in the home and practiced at least twice each year. Children who may be at home alone should know what to do and where to go.

Shelter goals

Your goals in selecting a shelter should be:

•Get as low as possible — completely underground is best.

•Put as many barriers between you and the outside as possible.

Storm cellars and basements

•If the entrance to a storm cellar is outside, you should allow time to get there before the storm arrives.

•A basement is also a good shelter in most cases. If your basement is not totally underground, or has outside doors or windows, stay as far away from them as possible.

•Use coverings (pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, coats, etc.) and helmets to shield your head and body and to protect yourself from flying debris.

Safe rooms

•A reinforced safe room is as good as an underground shelter in most situations. Safe rooms are specially designed reinforced tornado shelters built into homes, schools and other buildings.


by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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