A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for producing a particular weather event, but that it has not formed yet. Watches alert the public that they need to pay closer attention than usual to the weather, just to be safe. A tornado watch is issued when atmospheric conditions could cause tornadoes to form, although none have formed yet.
A tornado warning means that a particular weather event has formed and that it threatens the area under the warning. A tornado warning means that a tornado is actually present and moving in the warn vicinity. Residents should take immediate shelter in a tornado warning.
Steps to Take When a Tornado Warning is Given
Homes / Apartments
Immediately go to the basement or lowest level of your home or apartment building.
If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a room without windows or closet.
Go to the center of the room.
Stay away from walls.
Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
Mobile home occupants need to take prompt action in the event of a tornado warning. A mobile home can overturn easily even if precautions have been taken to tie the unit down.
When a tornado warning occurs, seek shelter in a building with a strong foundation.
If shelter isn't available, go to the nearest place of safe refuge.
Additional Steps to Take
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio station for further information.
Remain inside the protected area until you are certain the tornado has passed.