Question: What do I do during a severe thunderstorm warning?

Answer: For the purpose of this question we will talk about where to seek shelter for a tornado or for strong winds with a severe thunderstorm. We will also discuss what to do on an active weather day.

The best place to take shelter is always the most interior room or area possible. There should be a few goals when selecting a safe spot:

  1. A basement is best, but when not possible-the lower to the ground the better.
  2. Be as interior as possible; you want as many walls between you an the outside as possible.
  3. Avoid windows and doors- It is often the debris that flies around, especially from outside that kills and injures people with strong winds in a tornado

The best place to be is a basement, but if that is not possible other good options are bathrooms, closets, hallways, and even stairwells.

  • Make sure you have a way to receive watches and warnings. You can do this by turning on emergency alerts on your phone or weather alerts on our Weather App.
  • Know the difference between watches and warnings. Watches mean conditions are favorable and warnings mean the hazard is spotted on radar or present.
  • Make sure you have a plan for different severe weather scenarios and follow the plan during the severe weather event.
  • Have a weather question you have always wondered about? Message me on social media: Facebook (Anna Meyers), Twitter (18StormAnna), and Instagram (, or email me at and you might be featured on the next weekly Anna Answers.