Here’s how you should respond to tornado warnings and what to do if you find yourself facing a severe weather threat as you’re driving.
Don’t drive if there’s a tornado warning
The best way to stay safe during a tornado warning is to avoid driving at all. This sounds like obvious advice, but some drivers chase storms and tornadoes. However, weather conditions can also change unexpectedly.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available for your smartphone that can alert you to nearby tornado warnings. As
makes clear, a good weather app on your smartphone can be life-saving.
The Drive recommends WeatherBug or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) official app. Check your weather app's settings to make sure you'll see tornado warnings and other severe weather alerts.
You also want to make sure you have a good navigation app; if you do get a tornado warning alert, you'll need to find a place for shelter. You can save your local news radio station as a preset option to quickly jump to any weather warnings.
Before you head out for a drive, check local weather forecasts and plan your route to avoid warning areas. Keep an eye on the conditions while you're driving, and pull over safely to check on the forecast if it seems like the weather is getting worse.
While experts emphasize that not driving at all is the safest option, it’s not always easy to predict when bad weather is coming. Storms, especially tornadoes, can pop up quickly and travel unpredictably. If you're driving and you get a tornado warning alert on your phone or the radio, you need to take immediate action.
The best option is to find a building for shelter. Try to find the nearest gas station, rest stop, or other solid structure and wait out the storm there. That being said, don't try to outrun a tornado.
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