Tornado Safety at Work
Office and High-Rise BuildingsInterior rooms and halls are the best locations in large buildings. Central stairwells are good, but elevators are not. If the building loses power, you may be in the elevator for a long time. Stay away from glass walls and windows, no matter how small.
While these buildings are pretty safe from windstorms, there is one incidence of a tall building actually being twisted slightly by a tornado. The Great Plains Insurance building was distorted slightly by the 1970 tornado that struck Lubbock, Texas. It also had some surface damage.
Factories, Warehouses, Hospitals, Grocery Stores, and Shopping Centers
Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as the sales floors of department stores and work floors of a warehouse or factoryies. Crouch down and cover your head. Stay out of elevators in case of power failure. Deaths have occurred in large, single story department stores. They have occurred inside the building when the roof or wide span brick walls collapsed. A corner would be safer than the middle of the wall. Bathrooms, closets, offices, or maintainance rooms with short walls would be the safest area, especially if it was on the north or east side of the building. Bank vaults and walk-in refrigerators are extremely safe.
Now that you have read our Safety Page, try the Tornado Safety Crossword Puzzle in our Storm Cellar.