Did You Know?

Tornadoes often come at the tail end of a passing storm. It's not uncommon to see sunshine and blue skies in the background.

A tornado can devastate an area in mere minutes - which is about how long it takes to stock up on tornado survival basics at your local Fastenal store. Each of our 2,500+ locations is a convenient, one-stop source for everything you'll need to minimize injury, navigate the aftermath, and get back up and running. It's local, it's simple -- and it just may be the smartest purchase you'll make this year.

Contact your local store to learn more about Fastenal's available emergency services.

Planning, Preparing & Responding

Whether you are planning, preparing or responding to a tornado, Fastenal has you covered.

Before a Tornado

  • Prepare your facility with basic safety monitoring items like carbon monoxide alarms, gas leak detectors, emergency lighting, etc. Designate someone to turn off gas, electricity, and water when advised to do so by authorities.
  • Select a safe room where employees can gather to avoid flying glass and debris.
  • Stock up on emergency basics, including a first aid kit, canned food (w/ opener), several gallons of drinking water per person, protective clothing, a battery-powered radio, and flashlights with extra batteries.
  • Be aware of the danger. That includes understanding the difference between a "Tornado Watch" (a tornado is possible) and a "Tornado Warning" (a tornado has actually been spotted), monitoring the radio or TV for updates, and recognizing natural warning signs like a dark (often greenish) sky, large hail, a loud roar, a sudden lull in the wind, and/or a vast, dark, low-lying cloud.

During a Tornado

  • If you are in a structure (residence, small building, shopping center), go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, or the lowest level of the building. Stay away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • If you are in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home, get out immediately and seek shelter in a nearby building or storm shelter.
  • If you are outside find a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or a bridge.

After a Tornado

  • Continue monitoring radio and TV for weather updates.
  • Only return to the facility when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Use battery powered flashlights when examining buildings -- do NOT use candles.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.

Stay in Business

  • Assemble a Kit
  • Make a Plan
  • Stay Informed

Establish a safe room, escape routes and meeting places. Keep emergency phone numbers on hand and designate someone to communicate with employees, customers and suppliers.

Additional Resources

Sources: US Department of Commerce, FEMA, and the American Red Cross