It’s very hard to know which tornadoes are extremely dangerous and which ones are not that bad. Tornadoes are certainly nothing to take casually. Precautions should be taken every time. You know the saying, “Better safe than sorry.” It’s good to know survival tips in case of a tornado, regardless of its apparent size and strength.
Being prepared is important, but sometimes you are caught off-guard and don’t have time to carry out your tornado safety plan (you do have one, right?). Here are some survival tips for when a tornado is actually coming.
Below ground is the safest place to be. So if you are in a public building, go to the basement level. Use stairs whenever possible, not elevators, in case of power outages. No matter what kind of building you are in, if you can get underground, do so.
If there is no basement in the home or building where you are, then think “low and center.” Get away from windows and doors and toward the middle of the building. Crouch down as low as possible. If you have access to a mattress, chunk of foam, or even a piece of cardboard, then pull it over you to help shield you from flying and falling debris.
Mobile homes are notoriously unsafe during a tornado. Sources say that it may be safer to be outside in a ditch than in a mobile home, so if you can get out and lie down in a low ditch, do so.
Unlike thunderstorms, which are safe to ride out in a car, tornadoes can pick up cars, crumple them, flip them, and treat them like a cat treats a mouse! So the rules that apply to mobile homes apply to cars – get out and lie in the lowest possible place, such as a ditch. Most roads have ditches along the sides; an underpass is even better.
Get away from power lines if you are outdoors. Wet, broken power lines can kill you if touched, and they can also start fires. Even if the lines look like they’re not live, avoid them – it’s hard to tell, and a mistake can be deadly.
Things to Avoid
It’s also worth looking at what not to do in a tornado, because myths abound. For instance:
* Don’t open your windows – being near a window could make you vulnerable to flying shards of glass.
* You might also have heard that getting under a bridge or underpass is a safe choice, but it’s possible that the underpass could collapse. The wind speeds might also be greater when narrowed and concentrated under the bridge. An underpass is only an option if your other choices are more dangerous, such as a mobile home or open field.
* Don’t try to out-drive the tornado if you are in a vehicle. Storms can catch up to you faster than you can drive. A tornado could also form right above you.
Use these survival tips