About Tornados

safe room

Preparing for a tornado is something that each of us needs to take the time to do before a tornado takes place. Not preparing properly can be a deadly mistake. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it is particularly important that you have a tornado plan in place. There are several things you need to do to prepare for any tornado.

Every family should have an emergency kit ready to go in the event of a tornado. This should include enough food, water and other essentials for every family member for up to three days. Remember to have a kit for your pets also. Include dried food and other essentials for your pets. Tornadoes usually result in outages, so having flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio and even a fully charged mobile phone is a very smart idea for your tornado kit.




Assemble an Emergency Disaster Kit containing:

  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7 day supply)
  • Canned food and can opener or back packing food
  • Dried food for pets and pet medications
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and flashlights with extra batteries
  • At least 3 gallons of water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Protective clothing (rain gear, jackets, etc…)
  • Sleeping bags or blankets and pillows
  • Special items when infants, elderly or disabled family members seek shelter
  • Flashlights or glow sticks for light in your shelter
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra Cash

The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet



  • Tornadoes can strike quickly with little or no warning
  • Tornadoes can appear nearly invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms a funnel
  • The wind speeds of a tornado can approach 300 mph
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water
  • A tornado is only considered a funnel until it touches the ground
  • 3 our of every 4 tornadoes occur in the United States
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can happen at any time

When a tornado is expected in your area, pay close attention to news and weather reports. In an emergency situation, local authorities will advise you on where to go and what to do to stay safe. (Accuweather has a free app for your ipad, phone, or mobile devise. This app will update weather conditions every five minutes. This can be helpful tool to give you information about upcoming storms and tornadoes.)

When you go outside keep an eye on the sky to determine what might be coming your way. Signs that a tornado is approaching include rotating clouds laying low in the sky, a sky that is dark green in color, or a loud roar of strong wind or large hail.

When a tornado strikes be sure to stay as far away from windows as possible and even barricade yourself and your family in a room without windows if possible. Make sure you are wearing sturdy shoes in case you need to sprint away from danger in a hurry. If you are in an apartment building or other building with many levels, go to the bottom floor and stay in the hallway.

If you live in a trailer or mobile home you will need to take more precautions against tornadoes than someone living in a house. Staying in a trailer or mobile home during a tornado can be a very dangerous thing to do. Instead, try to get to a shelter or other building nearby. You will always be safer in a building than a mobile home because even if it is tied down you won’t receive much protection in the event of a tornado.

In the event that you are outside when a tornado strikes, your first priority is to get someplace safe as quickly as possible. If you are in a vehicle, do not get out of it. You will be safer in the vehicle than you would be outside of the vehicle. Avoid driving under bridges or overpasses during a tornado. If you are able, get to a place where you are lower than the road is, then you will want to cover your head with your hands until the tornado passes.

Tornadoes often come out of nowhere, so you need to be familiar with your emergency plan at all times and make sure your family is equally aware of the plan. You may even want to agree on a family meeting spot in the event that you must leave your home and you get separated from your family members in the process. This will give the whole family peace of mind in an emergency situation.

While, statistically speaking, tornadoes most often begin between 3pm and 9pm, you need to be aware that they can begin at any time of the day or night. Being prepared for a tornado whenever it strikes is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family. You can never be too prepared for the danger of tornadoes.

Are you aware that a storm shelter or safe room can save you and your loved ones lives? Contact Great American Storm Shelters today to get more information. Some states have rebate programs for purchasing a storm shelter. Contact us to find out more information. If you live in Texas, we have more information about rebates under our “Areas Serviced” section of our website.

If you would like to know more about the history of weather conditions and storms, you can read this report.


We install storm shelters in the following states:
Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia.