Modern tornado warnings are pretty good. You probably have at least twenty minutes between a tornado warning and any kind of lethal storm activity on the ground. Know where one of these three are within five minutes walking or driving distance.
I was under the impression that virtually everyone in the midwest has a basement. Apparently this is not true. I can’t believe all the people I hear about riding out these tornados in their closet or bathtub. The “closet” or “bathtub” is your clue for ‘that person doesn’t know what they’re talking about’ and not to listen to them. Find a basement or designated storm shelter, which is going to be in a basement. It’s May, so do this now, like today… find a neighbor within a few minutes walking or driving distance that has a basement.
You’d think churches and other large commercial buildings in the midwest, again, would be built up to tornado standards. Nope. But hospitals and probably most government rated buildings are. Find a real, actual hospital, built to accommodate major medical operations. Even then you’ll want to go low and towards the center of the building, ideally to any parts of the structure underground… like a basement.
Find a bank with a vault. Go into that vault and close or secure that vault.
Walk – Ins
Find a restaurant with a large walk-in refrigerator. Make sure you can safely close yourself and others inside for the duration of the tornado. Securely close yourself and others inside.
Really bad ideas include: Bath tubs, closets, underneath overpasses, parking garages, hallways inside or around concrete or cement walls, buildings. All of these tornado “go tos” are known death traps in the event of a real storm in which you will truly need a survival shelter.