Tornadoes cause billions of dollars in destruction and cost many lives each year. As a homeowner, there are things you can do to be prepared and protect yourself, those you love and your property.

Have a planned location where you will take shelter. Your best choice is the lowest point in the building, preferably under a staircase. If you don’t have a basement or staircase in your home, your bathroom is another good option. Getting inside your tub and covering yourself with a mattress to protect yourself from falling debris is one way to make it safer.

Keep away from windows in your home, and don’t have objects standing near the windows that can be picked up and thrown by the heavy winds.

If you live in a mobile home, it might be wise to seek shelter in a more sturdy building.

It is wise to shut off water, gas and electricity when a storm is expected in your area. This will lessen the chance of your house being damaged.