The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a statement underscoring the importance finding shelter during a tornado and addressed using helmets as another potentially useful and effective protection measure.
The CDC said that although no research exists to show that helmets can offer protection during tornadoes, head injuries are common causes of death during a tornado. But in order for any helmet to be effective, it must be as readily accessible as other safety supplies.
"Because the time to react may be very short, people who choose to use helmets should know where they are and have them readily accessible. Looking for a helmet in the few seconds before a tornado hits may delay you getting safely to shelter," the CDC warned.
Most helmets are constructed of lightweight plastic materials and may include bicycle or motorcycle helmets, sports or military styles, full brim or cap style hard hats, and protective emergency services helmets.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends creating an emergency supply kit to prepare for and respond to emergencies such as natural disasters. Effective emergency kits can include everyday supplies including food and water, as well as safety products such as dust masks, flashlights, and a first aid kit.