There are a lot of misconceptions about tornados out there. In this article, we are going to dispel some tornado myths and give you some truth!
MYTH: Areas near lakes, rivers and hills are safe from tornados.
TRUTH: No place is safe from tornados. The tornado that struck Door County, WI in August 1998 formed on the waters off of Green Bay and moved ashore, causing over $5 million in damage.
MYTH: The low pressure of a tornado causes buildings to explode as the tornado passes overhead.
TRUTH: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause mostly structural damage.
MYTH: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
TRUTH: Leave windows alone. The most important action is to immediately go to a safe shelter.
MYTH: People caught on the road should seek shelter under highway overpasses.
TRUTH: Take shelter in a sturdy, reinforced building if possible. The winds of a tornado may actually increase in the tight space of an overpass, increasing the chance of injury. No buildings nearby? Find out what to do!
MYTH: Tornados do not strike the same place twice.
TRUTH: Tornados can strike any time, any place (regardless of past history). As an example, Cordell, KS was hit by tornados on the same day three years in a row!
MYTH: A tornado is more likely to hit a mobile home park.
TRUTH: Tornados are not more likely to hit a mobile home, but the chances of doing more damage are greater. Even super weak tornados can flip a mobile home!
MYTH: Tornados can always be seen from far away.
TRUTH: Not only do tornados not always have to appear as a visible funnel cloud, but they can also be hidden by heavy rainfall during the day or by the dark of night.
MYTH: Tornados do not hit big cities.
TRUTH: Tornados can hit anywhere! Several large cities that have been hit include: Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Wichita.