Tornado Safety

It's not just a summer concern.

The truth is that, in Illinois, most tornadoes occur during the months of April, May and June.


Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning - What is the difference?

A tornado "watch" means that conditions are right for a tornado to occur. A "warning" means that a tornado has been detected. In Vernon Hills, the emergency warning sirens are activated in the event of a tornado warning. In addition, when the sirens are activated, Vernon Hills residents who have signed up to receive emergency alerts via the Blackboard Connect system will also receive notification. Vernon Hills residents should also keep in mind that the Village DOES NOT give an "all clear" signal.

Upon hearing the warning siren or receiving an emergency alert, you should:

  • Go at once to the basement or interior part of the building on the lowest level.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Go to the center of the room.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table, and hold onto it.
  • Use your arms to protect head and neck.

Do not open a window!

Many people mistakenly believe they should open a window when a tornado is coming. They believe that since houses are airtight, the change in air pressure during a tornado could cause a home to explode. This is a myth. Actually, buildings are not airtight. They leak, equalizing air pressure naturally. Opening a window allows the strong winds to enter, cause damage and increase the possibility of injury.

If outdoors:

  • If possible, get inside a building.
  • If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
  • Use arms to protect your head and neck

If in a vehicle when a tornado strikes:

  • Never try to outrun a tornado in a car or truck. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift up a car and toss it through the air.
  • Get out of the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.