The University Record, April 2, 1996

DPS gives tips on tornado safety for spring season 

Tornado season is here, and when a tornado approaches, your immediate action may mean life or death, says Robert Patrick, associate director of special services, Department of Public Safety.

"Seek inside shelter, and make sure you stay away from windows," he says.

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornados to develop, while a tornado warning means one already has been sighted. In the event of a tornado warning, the city of Ann Arbor public address system will emit a steady tone for three to five minutes.

Patrick offers the following tips in case a tornado warning sounds:


In office or classroom buildings, stand in an interior hallway on a lower floor, preferably in the basement.


In residence halls, stand in an interior corridor on the lowest floors, or in the basement. Evacuate the top floors. Stay away from areas of glass.


In homes or apartments the basement offers the greatest safety. Seek shelter under a sturdy workbench or heavy table. If no basement is available, take cover under heavy furniture in the center of the house or apartment.


Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias and other areas with large, free-span roofs.


In open country, move away from the tornado at a right angle. If there is not time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch or ravine. Do not stay in an automobile.


Keep a flashlight with you.


Listen to your radio for the latest information and instructions.

Do not tie up the telephone lines. Call 911 to report a tornado or any emergency.