What to do during a tornado warning

Tornado warning
A view of the skies from southwest Calgary at 1 p.m. on July 22, 2015. Luanne Baun submitted

Summer weather means the threat of severe storms, and worst still, tornadoes.

READ MORE: Thunderstorms 101: Derechoes, supercells, multi-cells…what it all means

This is what you should do in the case of a tornado warning.

1. Take it seriously

Though the United States is the tornado capital of the world with more than 1,300 reported each year on average, Canada is second with just over 100 reported. However, it’s believed that that number is higher, but due to so much of Canada being uninhabited, they go unreported.

A tornado may form quickly. If you are alerted to a tornado, seek shelter immediately.

2. Shelter

If you’re outside and can do so safely and quickly, get inside.

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Once inside, try to get to the lowest part of a house, or, if your home doesn’t have a basement, put as many walls between you and the outside world as possible. This also applies to apartments, condominiums and shopping malls. You can cover yourself with a mattress in order to protect yourself from any debris.

3. Get out of your car

If you are in a car or are unable to get indoors, get as low as possible and cover your head. A vehicle is an extremely dangerous place to be as it can be picked up, carried a great distance and slammed into the ground. Dangerous debris can also enter through the windows.

Do NOT hide under an overpass: though this idea was popularized about 15 years ago, people have been sucked out and killed.

4. Schools

Do not seek shelter in a gymnasium. They tend to be single, weakly supported structures and can collapse.