Staunton Fire  Protection District
'Serving The Citizens of Staunton and surrounding areas since 1923'
618-635-2139   |   Fire Department Non-Emergency
Tornado Safety....What to do When the Siren Sounds
To be safe you must stay ALERT, this is especially important during severe weather or when conditions have been shown to be capable of producing tornado's. Most deaths and injuries happen to people who are unaware and uninformed. Young children, the elderly or disabled, may not recognize or be able to respond quick enough if a tornado were to develop. Early preparation is the key to being safe.
Wind-up powered flashlights and radios
Extra batteries
A sickly greenish or greenish-black color to the sky
If there is a watch or warning posted, then the fall of hail should be considered as a real danger sign. Though common during severe storms, hail does not always have tornado activity associated with it
A strange quiet that occurs within or shortly after the thunderstorm
Clouds moving by very fast, especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area of the sky
A sound a little like a waterfall or rushing air at first, but turning into a roar as it comes closer. The sound of a tornado has been likened to that of both railroad trains and jets
Debris dropping from the sky
An obvious "funnel-shaped" cloud that is rotating, or debris such as branches or leaves being pulled upwards
A WATCH means that conditions are favorable for tornado's to form, be alert
A WARNING means a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted, take shelter immediately!!!
Have an understand for weather conditions most likely to develop tornado's and severe weather

Be prepared, have emergency supplies ready. Some of these supplies could include:
All supplies should be kept in an container or location near your homes designated "safe" spot


Be alert, listen to the local weather station, radio or have a NOAA weather radio close by, and be prepared to seek shelter in a hurry. Be alert to what is happening outside as well. Here are some of the things that people describe when they tell about a tornado experience:



Listen to the radio and television, is there a watch or warning issued? Whats the difference?
Take shelter:
In the home move to your basement. Get under a heavy surface if possible, stay away from all windows. If there are windows, cover everybody with a thick blanket. If you have no basement take cover in small windowless interior rooms on the lowest level, such as closets or bathrooms
If you're in an office building or school, protect yourself in an interior hallway or a lower floor. Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, or other structures with wide free span roofs
If your in a mobile home or vehicle, leave and head to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert with your hands shielding your head


Take a head count of all family members, ensure everyone is alright. Be carefull with walking around, there may be downed power lines and other hidden dangers that can cause harm. Do not tie up the phone lines, save them for emergency use only. Secure your remaining property to protect it from further damage or theft, help out your neighbors, and assist as safely as possible with general cleanup.

Stay aware, and you will stay alive!

Litchfield, IL Tornado
April 19, 2011
St. Louis Airport Tornado....Benny Hill style
April 2011