Best Available Refuge Area
Find your Best Available Refuge Area
Some buildings may have designated shelter areas, often called a Best Available Refuge Area (BARA).
If your building does not have an identified BARA, you can undertake a visual assessment in your building to identify safer areas in which to shelter. The assessment process is simple and is based on well-accepted criteria. You can complete your own assessment using the Best Available Refuge Area Assessment. There are instructions on how to complete the assessment here.
Once a BARA is designated, you can download signage or create your own to identify the BARA location.
Sheltering in a BARA is not a guarantee of safety in a tornado or high wind event. However, most buildings will have areas that are safer than others in which to shelter during high winds or a tornado event.
Not all buildings are appropriate locations in which to shelter. Relocatable buildings, such as ATCO trailers, or those without a foundation are not suitable for sheltering.
If you are outside or in your vehicle when you hear or see a tornado:
- If possible, your best option is to get indoors as soon as soon as you can.
- If there is no indoor shelter available, get out of your vehicle and find a low spot, such as a ditch and lay in it. Cover your head with your arms and hands and wait for the danger to pass.
- Avoid standing under trees (as they are subject to lightning strikes).
- Do not take shelter in underpasses.
Be prepared and stay connected
- Download our guide to high wind and tornado safety.
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app and the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s WeatherCAN app.
- You can learn more about risks we face in Calgary and how to stay safe by visiting Calgary.ca/getready.