The University Record, March 25, 1997

Tornado season is upon us

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

"Many people do not know how to properly protect themselves when an actual tornado is sighted," Patrick says. "Knowing what to do can save your life and the lives of others."

Patrick offers the following tips in case of a tornado:


Evacuate the top floors of buildings.


Stand in an interior hallway or corridor on a lower floor, preferably the basement, in an office, classroom or residence hall.


Stay away from windows and areas of glass.


Seek shelter under sturdy workbenches or heavy tables in a basement.


Take cover under heavy furniture in the center of the house or apartment if a basement is not available.


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


Move away from a tornado at a right angle if in open country; if there is not time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch or ravine.


Do not stay in your vehicle.


Keep a flashlight with you.


Listen to your radio for the latest information and instructions.


Do not tie up phone lines.


Call 911 to report a tornado or any emergencies.

When a tornado watch is in effect, the weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes. Tornado warnings are issued when an actual tornado has been sighted, during which you should take cover immediately, Patrick notes.

Questions or concerns about tornado safety can be directed to DPS at 763-3434.