Severe weather, in the form of tornadoes, lightning, flash foods, damaging winds, and destructive hail, strike Illinois each spring, summer and fall. In some cases, we see this weather unfold with incredible violence.

Take the following actions when a Tornado Warning has been issued, when sirens have been activated or when a tornado has been sighted near your area:

  • Go immediately to your predetermined shelter, basement or the lowest level of the building. In a basement, go under the stairs, under a heavy piece of furniture.
  • If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room without windows. Stay away from outside windows and walls. Get under a piece of sturdy furniture and hold onto it. Use pillows or mattresses to protect your head and neck.
  • If you are in a mobile home, get out and seek shelter elsewhere. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, gymnasiums and large hallways.
  • If you are in a vehicle, immediately exit it and take shelter in a nearby building. Tornadoes can easily lift up a vehicle and toss it through the air. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle as your movement may be hindered.
  • If you are outside and there is no shelter nearby, go to a low-lying area such as a ditch and shield your head. Try to make yourself the smallest target possible and beware of the potential for flash flooding.



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