Things Not to Do During a Tornado

What not to do during a tornado infographic from Ground Zero Shelters in OKCWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – tornados can happen at any time and at any place! The keys to survival are preparedness and action. If you are prepped ahead of time, the odds of surviving a tornado as well as the aftermath goes up tremendously.

When it comes to taking a direct hit, surviving is simply a numbers game. You want to put the odds in your favor by doing what you can to maximize your chances of survival. We have compiled a list of five things you should NOT do when a tornado hits in order to increase your odds for survival. Happy reading!

  1. Not taking tornado warnings seriously. There are tornado warning false alarms all of the time. We've all been under warnings when nothing happened. However; when you hear those sirens go off, the time to take action is now! Hop in your storm shelter, or get home immediately if you are out and about. This advanced warning is key to your survival. You do not want to roll the dice on your life! 
  2. Look out the window. We all know that windows are dangerous during tornados, but what do most people do when they hear a tornado warning? They run right to the window to see if they can see it! That is a big mistake. Windows can be easily broken, and will send glass and other debris from the outside right toward you! Did you know that being hit by debris is the number one way people are injured or killed in tornado? Don’t be a statistic and get away from your windows!
  3. Open the windows of your house. Speaking of windows, we want to set the record straight about opening them during a tornado. Some people do this because they believe that the pressure will equalize and the windows will not shatter. This is a myth! According to the experts, opening the windows will only succeed in letting the winds into the house so that internal supports can be shaken apart which will weaken the house even more. The bottom line is – don’t open your windows. It’s a waste of time! 
  4. Try to outrun a tornado. A tornados average speed is 10-20 mph across the ground, but can reach speeds up to 60 mph! If you think you are a fast driver and can outrun the tornado, think again. Your chances are slim-to-none when it comes to outrunning a tornado. As soon as you hear that tornado warning siren, seek shelter immediately and stay indoors. If you are nowhere near a shelter, you should stay in your car and buckle up or if possible, get below the level of the road like a ditch. 
  5. Take cover underneath an overpass. When severe weather hits, people will often park their cars underneath overpasses in order to avoid getting damage from hail and debris. But when the tornado sirens come on, being underneath an overpass is the absolute LAST place you want to be! Winds actually accelerate as they travel underneath an overpass, enough to cause the structure to fall apart and even lift vehicles off the ground. Check out our detailed article about why NOT to seek shelter under an overpass during tornados.

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