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Don't Do This: 5 Tornado Survival Myths

By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 02:38 PM

Tornadoes are a common natural disaster in many parts of the country. Knowing how to prepare can save your life and reduce damage to your home and property.

Doing the wrong things can be deadly, however, so here are five myths about tornado safety.

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1. Myth: Opening the windows in your home will help equalize pressure inside and help reduce property damage.
Meteorologist Gary Carbin tells AccuWeather opening windows at the first sound of a tornado warning is a waste of precious time. He says the storm damage has little to do with pressure outside and inside your home but rather the high winds associated with tornadoes that ultimately cause the destruction. He suggests spending your time finding adequate cover for yourself and your family.

2. Myth: Highway overpasses are good tornado shelters.
According to Popular Mechanics, the space underneath an overpass creates a wind tunnel effect, accelerating even more the high wind speeds of the tornado. Because wind speed increases with height, it is even more dangerous to climb the sloped embankments under the girders of the overpass.

3. Myth: The southwest corner of the house is the best place to take cover.
Doing this puts you and your family in the line of danger because most tornadoes approach from the southwest, explains QuakeKare. Instead, go for the lowest point you can find and cover your head to protect yourself from flying debris.

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4. Myth: Never try to outrun a tornado.
Carbin tells AccuWeather it is possible that in some cases, trying to drive away from an approaching tornado could be your safest option. Since tornadoes can move at up to 70 mph, Carbin says it is very important to understand where you are in relation to the storm and accurately asses the direction it is moving. If there is no traffic and you can drive faster than the storm is moving, there is a chance you could outrun it. If you are not sure of the storm’s direction or speed, it may be best to seek shelter in a ditch. Carbin advises staying in your vehicle with the engine running so your airbags can deploy if needed.

5. Myth: Tornadoes happen only in the spring.
QuakeKare asserts that tornadoes can occur any time of the year, so preparedness is important at all times.

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Tornadoes are a common natural disaster in many parts of the country. Knowing how to prepare can save your life and reduce damage to your home and property. Doing the wrong things can be deadly, however, so here are five myths about tornado safety.
tornado, survival, myths
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2016-38-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 02:38 PM
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