Tornado safety for Texans - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tornado safety for Texans

Released by The Department of Public Safety:

TEXAS - Tornadoes can occur at any time of year in Texas, but they happen most often in spring and summer. When severe weather threatens, monitor TV and radio broadcasts for storm information, as well as NOAA weather radio. Most tornado fatalities are caused by flying debris. When a tornado is sighted, the most important rule is to get low and stay low.

In or near buildings:

• Seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of a home, office or other building. Shelter in a windowless area: a stairwell, bathroom, hallway or storage closet.

• Avoid any area with a wide, unsupported roof such as an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria or theater. Avoid areas with windows or large amounts of glass.

• At school, follow the drill and go to a designated shelter area, usually interior hallways on the lowest floor.

• At the shopping center, go to the interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Do not leave the shopping center to get in your vehicle.

• If you are in a mobile home, get out immediately and take shelter in a nearby sturdy building.

• If you are in open country, take cover on low ground, preferably lying flat in a ditch or ravine.

In your vehicle:

• If the tornado appears to stay in the same place, but is growing larger, it is headed toward you. Take shelter AWAY from the vehicle. Take shelter inside a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or ravine.

• Avoid highway overpasses. Parking or taking shelter under a bridge or overpass is extremely dangerous due to flying debris and the possibility the structure may collapse.

• Parking beneath an overpass on traffic lanes creates a deadly hazard for others, who may plow into your vehicle at full highway speeds in poor visibility. This can trap people in the storm's path or block emergency transport.

• If you are trapped in your vehicle, keep your seat belt on and lean down as low as possible, away from windshield and windows.

For more information on tornadoes, see NOAA's Storm Prediction Center's Tornado FAQ page.

For more information on all hazards preparedness, visit and

Read about Texas Division of Emergency Management online at

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