Whether you seek refuge in a safe room or closet, there are additional precautions you can take.
According to a recent story published by The Birmingham News, gear such as a bike helmet, an infant car seat, sturdy shoes or boots and a heavy quilt or coat can offer extra protection from shards of glass, splinters and other airborne objects.
Generally, mobile home occupants should seek safe shelter elsewhere, as a mobile home offers little protection from a tornado.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average lead time for tornado warnings is 13 minutes.
Smith, Doswell and most of the meteorological community believe this is sufficient lead time to get to safety as long as the decision to leave is carried out immediately, you know exactly where to go and the shelter is not too far away.
There are some people who do not have a means of transportation, are handicapped or simply have no place to go.
Sometimes even experienced storm chasers are fooled.
Doswell states, "Escaping a tornado in a vehicle is not recommended unless the absence of traffic and the availability of road options allow you to move quickly at right angles relative to the tornado's path."
The meteorological community including the National Weather Service and AccuWeather.com provide heads-up alerts sometimes days in advance of potential severe weather and tornado outbreaks.
However, planning ahead should not wait until the day of an expected outbreak or during the heart of the severe weather season. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, and any time of the day.
In the case of mobile homes, or other storm-vulnerable housing, planning ahead as far as possible is necessary in terms of constructing, locating and traveling to a safe area.
It should be the topic of community, family and workplace discussion. There may already be approved safe areas and information available within your township, school or job site.
You Can Survive a Tornado: Take Responsibility!
People should assume the worst will happen when a tornado warning is issued.
According to Smith,"People need to take responsibility for their safety. Trust the warnings. You might spend some time in a shelter unnecessarily on occasion, but the tornado warnings have become good enough that they need to be taken seriously."
According to Doswell, "If schools and workplaces have no plan (for tornadoes), people should demand that a plan be developed."
If you are building a new home, consider the addition of an approved safe room or nearby outdoor, in-ground storm shelter with adequate means of ventilation and drainage.
If you live in a mobile home park, consider approaching the owner as a group about building a storm shelter.
A concrete storm shelter, seen Friday, May 7, 1999, was part of the construction project at a new mobile home park built near 50th Street and Hydraulic in Wichita, Kan. The city requires trailer parks with 20 or more homes to have a storm shelter. (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa)
In light of the trend of fatalities over the years during tornado outbreaks, there have been vast improvements in public awareness thanks to advanced warnings in the public and private sector.