Tips for identifying a ‘go-to’ storm shelter in your home

By Allstate

Last updated: January 1

Safety is an important issue for everyone, especially during times of severe weather. Do you know where to go in your home if a severe storm or tornado strikes? The National Weather Service (NWS) says the best place to take shelter from a tornado is completely underground — or as low as possible. So, consider these tips from the NWS to identify the room that may be a go-to storm and tornado shelter in your home.

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A basement is an adequate shelter in most cases, the NWS notes. Be sure to pick a spot that isn't situated under any heavy furniture or appliances on the floor above, says the NWS. You may also want to get under a stairwell or a sturdy piece of furniture for additional protection, adds the NWS. If your basement isn't totally underground, find a spot that is away from outside doors or windows. If your home has a storm cellar, you should use it, the NWS says.

Interior rooms

Even without a safe, underground space, you still have some options. Look for a small room in your home that is close to the ground, far inside the building, and away from outside doors, windows and walls, the NWS recommends. Some options may include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Closets
  • Hallways
  • Spaces beneath stairwells

In each case, the NWS reminds you to make sure the room you choose is not along an outside wall and doesn't have windows or doors to the outdoors. And, if you are on the first floor of a two-story home, make sure you are not underneath any heavy furniture or objects on the floor above.

Other shelter options

A specially built, reinforced safe room in your home can be another good option, the NWS says. (To learn more information on building a safe room in your home, check out some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

If you're an apartment dweller, and live on a higher floor, check with your landlord to see if there's a reinforced shelter on the property to use or if the property's clubhouse or laundry room is an option, says the NWS. And if you live in a mobile home, find another designated safe spot. The NWS says there is no place in a mobile home that will keep you safe from a tornado.

No matter your situation, planning ahead and knowing where to go in case of a tornado may help you and your family safely ride out the weather.