Apparently Arkansas made the national news recently because of tornadoes. Now, I grew up in California - earthquake country - so tornadoes are a new phenomenon for me. I know what to do in an earthquake. I have no idea what to do in a tornado. (Let's not even discuss MoBob.)
What I don't understand is that most houses here do not have basements. Also, it's not clear to me what the tornado warning system is. Granted, we don't have a TV and I haven't done any research on this. Surely there is some kind of protocol?
Clever me, I have been full of machinations for MB's birthday on March 22nd. (Nothing to do with the Arkansas Razorbacks mug I got for Valentine's Day. Oh no.) One of the books that helped me understand Morocco was Adolescence in a Moroccan Town. I became friends with Susan Davis in Morocco and enjoyed hanging out with her and her husband. Since MB has never read the book, and since his English has improved so much, I decided to order a copy, send it on to Susan and Doug for their autographs, and then present the signed book to MB.
Sometimes I even amaze myself.
You will know the tornado warning siren when you hear it. It's a long wail, like an air raid siren. Getting a TV for severe storm news might be overkill, but then I've always found it helpful to be able to watch a storm's progress on a radar. If you don't have a TV though, I'd definitely recommend a radio. Turn on your TV or radio if you go outside and the sky is green or yellow and creepily still. Or, you know, if there's a giant raging thunderstorm outside.
In the event of a tornado, the very best place to hide is under a stairwell. Even when the rest of a house collapses, the stairwell is often left standing. But if you don't have a stairwell, take shelter in a small ground floor room with no exterior walls like a coat closet or bathroom.
If you are driving and you see a tornado, the most dangerous place for you to be is inside your car. If you can get to an overpass, it's a good place to take shelter; if not, jump in a ditch or anything at all below ground level.
Any more questions?
You asked about tornadoes, rather than Hurricanes, and Cyclones spin in the opposite direction, but I suspect some precautions are universal. In northern queensland, where they get many tropical cyclones, it's common to see large 'X's taped across glass windows, like messages from Mulder and Scully on a grand scale. The theory is to prevent the windows from shattering completely if they break. Modern 'cyclone' windows have a plastic film on the inside that doubles as tinting. Can look stupid, but it's better than flying shards of glass in a pinch.
It's actually a good idea to leave a window open somewhere, so that pressure can equalize quickly inside and out. Otherwise, the suddent low pressure system in a storm can just pop windows out, or roofs right off. I assume the same can happen in a tornado?
Um, Have a torch, spare water, radio with fresh batteries, clean up the yard, and all that jazz I assume you knew already but that I'd be irresponsible to leave out.