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Tornado on open landscape


Tornadoes can pop up at any time. They are unpredictable and can leave a path of destruction. The best way to survive one is to have a plan and listen for potential watches and warnings.

Alabama Power crews restoring power after tornado

Tips to Remember

  • Purchase a weather radio. They offer the best way to alert you to a tornado. This device picks up around-the-clock broadcasts from the National Weather Service and sounds a loud alarm with a tornado warning.
  • Practice being prepared. Pick out a safe place in your home and make sure all family members, especially children, know to go there for a tornado warning. Hold tornado drills so everyone remembers what to do. Stress the importance of staying calm.
  • If you live in a house: The safest place in your home is the lowest level, the basement if you have one. If not, choose a small room away from windows, like a closet, hallway or bathroom. Stay near the center of the house. Put as many walls as possible between you and a tornado. Close all doors. If your safest room is a first-floor bathroom, get in the tub and hold a mattress or cushions over your head for protection.
  • If you live in a mobile home: If you hear a tornado warning, leave your home immediately and go to a nearby shelter or the basement of a building. If you don’t have time to reach a shelter, lie flat in a ditch, culvert or other low area and cover your head. Never try to flee a tornado in a vehicle.
  • If you get caught outdoors: Hurry to the basement of a sturdy building. Or lie flat in a ditch, culvert or other low area. Cover your head. Do not stay in a vehicle during a tornado.

Learn the Lingo

Knowing the following terms will help you better prepare for a tornado.  

  • TORNADO WATCH – Alerts the public to the fact that conditions are favorable for a tornado.  

  • TORNADO WARNING – Alerts the public to an immediate danger of a tornado. 
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