Sheltering during a tornado or other severe weather

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations on social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic should not prevent you from seeking shelter during a tornado or other severe weather. Your first priority should be to protect yourself from a tornado.  While in the shelter, take steps to ensure you follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing and wearing a face covering.

If you are working from home, ensure you and your family know where to take shelter.

  • If you live in a house with a basement, that is by far the best location to go. Often going under the stairwell will protect you from falling debris.
  • In a house without a basement, put yourself on the lowest level with as many walls between you and the outside as possible. Centrally located halls and bathrooms are the safest locations to seek shelter.
  • If you live in a mobile home, there is no safe place to take shelter in that structure. Check with your park management on shelter capabilities and make plans accordingly.
  • If you live in a multi-unit building, understand the location of its shelter. If no shelter is available, check for space on the lowest level, without windows, and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.

For additional information and guidance on sheltering:

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Severe Weather Preparedness Guide

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Tornado Preparedness and Response