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Tornado Safety

Tornadoes can happen during any time of year - day or night. Knowing what to do when you see or hear a tornado can help protect you and your family.

Before a tornado:

  • Be prepared for severe weather. Organize a storm kit.
  • Be alert by listening to a weather radio with battery backup, television newscast or your local tornado sirens.
  • If you see a dark or greenish sky, large hail, a low-lying cloud and hear a loud roar similar to a freight train, a tornado could be approaching. Seek shelter immediately.

During a tornado:

  • Go to a basement, storm cellar or lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put on sturdy shoes and do not open windows.
  • Trailers or mobile homes offer little protection. Get out immediately. Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or storm shelter.
  • If there is a medical emergency, call 911 or the fire department immediately.
  • If you are in a car, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. Do not get under an overpass or bridge - you’ll be safer in a low, flat location. If the vehicle gets hit by flying debris, pull over and park and stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows and cover your head with your hands and a blanket or coat if possible.

After a tornado:

  • Continue to monitor your weather radio or television for emergency information.
  • Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there may be a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. If there is significant damage to your home, turn off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
  • If your home suffers structural damage from a disaster and you smell or hear the sound of escaping gas, immediately evacuate the premises and then call 911 and Ameren Missouri at 1.800.552.7583. Do not attempt to relight any appliances or pilot lights. Ameren Missouri personnel will restore gas service when it is safe to do so.
  • Be careful when exiting or entering any damaged building, and cooperate fully with public safety officials.
  • Do not drive or walk around the area to sightsee after a tornado has hit. Not only could you be injured by debris, but you are interfering with first responders and utility crews trying to help those affected.

Additional Resources 

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