The American Red cross, along with the Advisory Council for First Aid, Aquatics, Safety and Preparedness (ACFASP), an independent panel of health and safety experts that advise the Red Cross, has updated the recommendation on tornado safety as follows:
If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, tornado shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot get to shelter, a recent study* suggests doing the following:
- Get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt, and try to drive at right angles to the storm movement and out of the path of the tornado.
- If strong winds and flying debris occur while you are driving, pull over and park, keeping seat belts on and the engine running. Crouch down below the windows, covering your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
If you are unable to get to a building or vehicle, as a last resort, lie in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
* Schmidlin T., et al, 2002: Unsafe at any (wind) speed? American Meteorological Society, 1821-30.
This change is consistent with the findings of numerous scientific inquiries and is reflected in the new tornado preparedness check list.