@comfyshoes: Thankfully, weather forecasting has improved to the point that most areas are given plenty of warning of an impending tornado.
Those of us who survived the Super Outbreaks of April 3, 1974 and April 27, 2011 in north Alabama, can read a radar about as well as the meteorologists, and can predict the path a storm will take almost as well, too.
We were out of power for four days in April 2011. Thank goodness for my iPhone, because I was able to charge it on the car battery, and could tell people we were OK. Also, we depended on a local radio station that had wall-to-wall coverage and people calling in saying where supplies like generators and ice could be found. Extra batteries are a *must,* and I do recommend a radio that takes a 9-volt battery, because they seem to last longer.
Also, if you know severe weather is coming, go ahead and fill your car up with gas. During a lull in the action on April 27, I went out to grab some lunch and the thought occurred to me that I should probably get gas, but I didn't do it. Then, the power went out all over the northern part of the state. About a million people (1/4 of the state's population) were without power. No power, no gas pumps. Finally, a little town about six miles from where we live reported on the radio they had power and their Mapco station had gas. I left home at 6 a.m. so I could fill up. It was also the first hot coffee I'd had in several days.
But we only lost power and all the food in our fridge and freezer. Our home and loved ones were unharmed. Many were not so fortunate.
In any case, tornadoes rarely strike without some warning of their presence. You can almost always hear one long before you see it. Around here, the terrain is rolling, so our horizons aren't as far off as they are on the Great Plains, for example, and our tornadoes tend to come rain-wrapped, so we have to be especially vigilant. And since they most often form at the back of a severe thunderstorm, you usually have a few minutes' warning before the storm system moves in to get to shelter.
The worst part about them is their mercurial ways. They can suddenly weaken or strengthen, they can skip and touch down, or stay on a long track. You just never know. They're evil, I hate them and have nightmares about them. But I know the signs that announce their coming and I take tornado precautions seriously.