In the event the National Weather Service issues a TORNADO WARNING, the Police and Security Department will send a text message alert. When a tornado is coming,you may have only moments to make a life or death decision. Advance planning is the key to surviving a tornado. All members of the Wittenberg Community are strongly encouraged to identify the best take-cover location for their own residences and the buildings they work in.
Tornado watch - means the atmospheric conditions are right for a tornado to develop. You should stay near the radio or TV to listen for more information about the situation.
Tornado warning - means that a tornado has been spotted or that Doppler radar indicates a thunderstorm circulation which can spawn a tornado. When a tornado warning is issued for your town or county, take immediate safety precautions.
If you are Outdoors:
- Attempt to seek inside shelter if it is close by. If not, lie in a low lying ditch, culvert, etc. Cover your face and head.
If Inside of a Building:
- Proceed to a below-ground level floor if possible, or get to the center portion of the building inside of a closet, bathroom, hallway, or under a doorway or other structural support.
- Stay away from windows, book shelves, and other unsecured objects that might fall on top of you.
- Cover yourself with anything available that may provide protection from falling or flying objects.
- Stay in place until an all clear is sounded or rescuers get to you.
If You're In a Car:
Either leave the vehicle for sturdy shelter or drive out of the tornado's path. When the traffic is jammed or the tornado is bearing down on you at close range, your only option may be to park safely off the traffic lanes, get out and find a sturdy building for shelter, if possible. If not, lie flat in a low spot, as far from the road as possible (to avoid flying vehicles). However, in open country, the best option is to escape if the tornado is far away.
Tornado Shelter Zones:
Things to Avoid:
- Wide expanse ceilings (avoid auditoriums, the dining room, and large conference areas). A long span building, such as a shopping mall, theater, or gymnasium is especially dangerous because the roof structure in usually supported solely by the outside walls. Most such buildings hit by tornadoes cannot withstand the enormous pressure. They simply collapse. If there is no time to get to a tornado shelter or to a lower level, try to get under a door frame or get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris.
- Avoid areas with large amounts of debris.
- Large open areas.
- Windows and display cases.
- Do not use elevators because the power may fail, leaving you trapped.