VIDEOS: Tips to be prepared and stay safe for tornadoes in Michigan

Posted at 9:45 AM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 09:45:38-04

The state has been seeing more severe weather over the past couple of years, with tornadoes hitting Michigan just last month, and several tornadoes across the state last year.

Reminder: Download the WXYZ app on your phone to get severe weather alerts right away

Below, you can learn more about the types of severe weather in Michigan and tips to keep you and your family safe.


According to the National Weather Service, the state averages 15 tornadoes each year. You don't have much time to prepare, as the average lead time for tornadoes to develop is just 10-15 minutes. That means you have to move quickly.

VIDEO: Tips on how to stay safe during a tornado:

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornadoes and what to know

Here are tips to be ready for a tornado:

  • Know the difference between a watch and a warning: A watch means conditions exist for a tornado, while a warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Know the signs of an approaching tornado: Dark, often greenish sky; large hail; large, dark, low-lying cloud; loud roar
  • Stay tuned to commercial radio or TV broadcasts. Be sure to download the WXYZ app as we send severe weather push alerts straight to your phone
  • Develop an emergency preparedness kit with items like three days worth of water and food, a weather radio, important documents and more
  • Identify a safe place in your home for family members to gather
  • Make sure everyone understands the tornado system warning

Safest areas of your home

Last year, 7 First Alert Meteorologist Mike Taylor went through and broke down the safest areas of your home when severe weather strikes or a tornado warning is issued.

Watch him explain the safest areas of your home below:

Where are the safest areas of your home to go during severe weather?

The basement is by far the safest area of the home, but the quest for the safest spot doesn't end there. When you get to the basement, look for an interior room. This is like safety on top of safety. You're in the lowest level and you're also in an interior room.

Basements are always the safest option. But what if your house doesn't have a basement? There are some locations that you can go in the first floor that could also be safe.

Windows can easily shatter or debris can break them, sending glass flying everywhere into the home. Exterior walls aren't much better.

The first thing we tell people to do is get as far away from windows as possible, and the exterior walls because debris can come through them. Not only the windows, but it can also come through the walls.

Look for an interior room on the first floor if you don't have a basement. One of the center-most rooms you have, usually a bathroom, away from exterior walls.

In the bathroom, plumbing helps as well as reinforcement. We want a sturdy structure to protect us as best as we can.