Know What to Do During a Tornado

It is important to know what to do to keep you and your family safe

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The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornadoes touched down in North Texas Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. The strongest, an EF-3 in North Dallas.

NBC 5 News
The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornadoes touched down in North Texas Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Spring comes to mind when you think about severe weather in North Texas. But, fall also brings an increased risk for severe storms.

Historically, April and May are the two months when tornadoes are most common in North Texas.

During the fall in North Texas, a secondary severe weather season happens. There is a spike in the number of tornadoes during the month of October. This not only happens in North Texas, but also along the gulf coast where temperature and humidity levels tend to be higher.

October’s tornadoes are caused by upper level troughs (dips in the jet stream) and strong cold fronts moving into the area. As summer ends and cooler weather takes over, the clash can lead to some violent storms.

It is important to know what to do to keep you and your family safe.

Designate a safe spot in your home where you and your family will take cover during severe weather. This would be an interior room or hallway on the lowest level. You can also get under a sturdy piece of furniture or cover yourself with couch cushions. Stay away from windows. The best place to be is a bathroom in the middle of the ground floor. The plumbing provides additional protection around the walls.

You never want to be in a car during a tornado. Get out immediately and get into a sturdy building. If there is no shelter nearby, get to a low-lying area, like a ditch, lay on your stomach and cover your head with your hands.

If you live in a mobile home, you must evacuate as well. Get to the nearest sturdy structure.

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Before the Storm
Weather Safety
Stay Safe During a Hail Storm
At Home?
  • Head indoors immediately
  • If time allows, close all drapes, blinds or shades to prevent broken glass from entering your home.
  • Stay away from windows and skylights (any exterior glass) and head to a safe location inside your home, ideally only with interior walls.
  • Cover your head and seek shelter indoors immediately.
  • If you are trapped outside, get to a low-lying area and try to protect your head. Use clothing if it's all you have.
  • Stay inside your vehicle.
  • Slow down or pull over and stop at a safe location. DO NOT stop under a highway overpass. You may be protecting your vehicle, but you could be forcing other people to stop behind you.
  • Turn your back to windows or cover yourself with a blanket, coat or spare clothing to protect yourself from breaking glass.
  • If you have a sunroof, try to find something to protect your head.


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