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Tornado Safety Precautions

Tornadoes can unleash their fury with practically no warning, so it's critical to know what tornado safety precautions you can take to protect your family.1


Tornado Safety Tips—Warnings & Watches

Remember that a watch means that weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes and remain alert for approaching storms. A warning means one has been sighted or indicated by weather radar in your area. Take shelter immediately.

  • Learn the warning signals used in your community. If a siren sounds, that means stay inside and take cover.
  • Consider setting up a neighborhood information program through a club, church group or community group. Hold briefings on safety procedures as tornado season approaches. Set up a system to make sure senior citizens and shut-ins are alerted if there is a tornado warning.

Tornado Safety Tips—Seeking Shelter

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas. Instead, seek shelter immediately and stay calm.

  • At home or work, seek shelter in the central part of the building, away from windows. Basements are the best havens. If this is not an option, take cover in a windowless room such as a bathroom, closet, interior hallway or under a heavy piece of furniture.
  • If you are in your vehicle, abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in the nearest ditch or depression if no other facility is available. Cover your head with your hands.
  • Even if tied down, mobile homes offer little protection from tornadoes.

Tornado Safety Tips—Protecting Your Property

  • Make sure your policy is up to date. Our Encompass One® Policy—a homeowners insurance and auto insurance package policy with higher limits, enhanced features, incredible convenience and valuable insurance discounts—as well as our standalone insurance for high value homes features that you may not find in other policies.
  • Consider building or reinforcing a safe room in your home that can provide better protection from high winds. For information on building a safe room, visit
  • If a tornado watch has been issued, move cars inside a garage or carport to avoid damage from hail that often accompanies tornadoes. Keep your car keys and house keys with you.
  • If time permits, move lawn furniture and yard equipment such as lawnmowers inside. Otherwise they could become damaged or act as dangerous projectiles causing serious injury or damage.
  • Remove diseased and damages limbs from trees to prepare for high winds.
  • Make an inventory of your possessions and store it off the premises. If your belongings are damaged, this list will help facilitate the claim filing process.

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