Support Us Button Widget

How to prepare for a tornado in San Antonio

We’re breaking down things to do before, during, and after the weather event.

SATXtoday: tornado

Tornado near JBSA Fort Sam Houston on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Screen shot by @logan_wx_ via X (formerly Twitter)

Table of Contents

If we learned anything from the recent Fort Sam Houston Tornado, weather events can happen unexpectedly in the Alamo City. These scenarios can be scary, but the San Antonio Office of Emergency Management has information available on what to do in case one occurs.

We’re here to break it all down and provide you with easy to access information.


SATXtoday: emergency kit

Emergency kit.

Photo by Roger Brown via Pexels

Building an emergency kit ahead of time is the best way to prepare for a tornado. Here are a few items you can include in the emergency kit:

  • First aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food (don’t forget the can opener)
  • Family communications plan
  • Backpack (to hold supplies)

You can listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local television newscasts to get the latest information and instructions by local emergency management officials. Warning signs of a tornado can include a dark/greenish sky, large hail, low-lying clouds and a loud roar.


SATXtoday: Fort Sam Houston Tornado

Fort Sam Houston Tornado over San Antonio on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Screen shot by @TheBradSowder via X (formerly Twitter)

When a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately.

If you are in a building:

  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area (safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level).
  • When basements aren’t available, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level.

If you are in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home:

  • Get out and go to the lowest floor of a nearby building or a storm shelter.

If you are outside with no shelter around:

  • Find a nearby ditch or depression and lie flat + cover your head with your hands.


SATXtoday: tornado damage

Tornado damage in San Antonio.

Screenshot by @BowlerDerek via X (formerly Twitter)

Did you know 50% of injuries occur after a tornado as a result of rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities? If you need emergency assistance, call 911.

During this time, you can check for injuries and carefully inspect damages. Pro tip: Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves while inspecting damages to stay safe.

For more information about how to navigate before, during, and after a tornado, check out these resources: