Tornado Precautions

Tornado Defined

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms and can leave an area devastated in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, striking the ground with whirling winds of up to 200 miles per hour or more. In Minnesota tornadoes occur mainly in April, May, and June.

Tornado Warning

A tornado has been seen or a thunderstorm is exhibiting characteristics that would indicate the possibility of a tornado forming. Sherburne County activates outdoor warning sirens when a tornado has been confirmed.


If you are in the affected area, take shelter immediately. If you are outside and not being immediately threatened by the severe weather, move indoors quickly. If you are immediately threatened, take cover by lying on the ground, preferably in a low area, safe from flying objects and flooding.

Do not drive in the area of a tornado or severe straight-line winds. Under most circumstances, inside a vehicle is one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Winds in some storms can pick up a car and toss it great distances.

Extra Precautions

  • Extra precautions are needed in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and office buildings. There is a large concentration of people in a small area, but these buildings usually have a large amount of glass on outside walls.
  • Get into the innermost portions of the lowest floor possible. Avoid windows, glass doorways, auditoriums, and cafeterias that are not protected by overhead floors and rooms. Restrooms are excellent storm shelters. Do not use elevators, the power could go off and you could be trapped.
  • Protect your head and make yourself as small a target as possible by crouching down.

Protect Yourself & Family

Remember, the weather warnings are broadcast before the storms arrive. It begins when the weather indicates the possibility of severe weather. You are responsible for preparing and protecting yourself and your family.