How to Survive a Tornado


Jack Phiel, Editor

Hundreds of people die every year due to tornadoes, however meteoroligists think that number could be greatly reduced if people knew how to prepare for a tornado. This article will show you what do if you are ever threatened by a tornado.

If you are indoors, go to your basement or the lowest floor in the building. Do not go outside to try and see the tornado, as soon as there is a tornado warning you want to move to the interior most room in the building, and avoid windows to protect yourself from debris. It is important to put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors, meaning bathrooms and closets are usually good places to take cover. If you can, go under a piece of furniture so that you can be further protected from flying debris. According to meteorologist Harold Brooks, it is important that everyone has a plan in the event of a tornado.

If you are outside when there is a tornado, try to run to the nearest sturdy building to take shelter. If this is not an option, try to find a ditch or depression in the ground to lay in. Even if you find a ditch to take cover in, you are still at a high risk for being struck by flying debris, which is what leads to most deaths from tornadoes.

If you happen to be on the road when a tornado is about to strike, your best option is to drive to the nearest sturdy building. Many people will seek shelter under an overpass, however this is a very bad choice. Being in this location can lead to even higher wind speeds, and the overpass could also collapse on top of your car. Research shows that overpasses act as wind tunnels during a tornado, which accelerates wind speed. It may sound weird, but you are better off in the middle of a road with nothing around than to be under an overpass. Experts also agree that knowing how to drive away from tornadoes can save your life. According to Robin Tanamachi, you do not want to try to outrun the tornado, as tornadoes can travel at speeds up to 70 or even 80mph. Instead, try to drive at a 90 degree angle away from the tornado. If you don’t have a chance of escaping the tornado, your best option is to abandon your vehicle and find a ditch in the ground.

In the rare event that your life is being threatened by a tornado, no matter your situation, you now know the proper steps to take in order to survive.