Fort Worth, Texas,
03
May
2017

5 things you should never do during a tornado

A safety expert explains what not to do during a tornado

The multiple tornadoes that rampaged through East Texas over the weekend shows the devastation these storms can bring with them.

An average of 132 tornadoes occur in Texas each year.  

At some point, probably in the near future, one of those tornadoes will be in our area. Then what?

First of all, have a plan in place.

Sometimes, it’s just as important to know what you shouldn’t do. Kaysey Pollan, Environmental Safety and Emergency Management officer at Cook Children’s, offers these five things you should never do during a tornado:

  1. Be unsure of your safeplace. Whether if it’s at your home or your office, know where you are going to go during severe weather. If you don’t have access to underground shelter, move to the interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. If you live in a mobile home, get out and find secure shelter.
  2. Turn off your TV or radio. You hear it all the time. People calling in complaining to TV stations because their favorite program was interrupted for the weather. Don’t be that person. Pay attention to the weather forecast.
  3. Depend on your fast car. Sorry, you can’t, or shouldn’t want to, outrun a tornado. Find shelter. If you can’t find shelter, get out of the car and find the most low-lying area (ditch, ravine, etc.). Lay flat your stomach and cover your head with your hands.
  4. Open the windows. It’s been proven that this serves no benefit whatsoever. All an open window does is allow more wreckage to enter your home. During a severe storm, stay away from windows and keep them closed.
  5. Drive underneath an overpass The National Weather Service Forecast Office says, “Seeking shelter under an overpass is more dangerous than standing in an open field while a tornado is approaching." When a tornado passes over an overpass, the wind is funneled under the bridge. In turn, this actually increases its velocity.”

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Jeff Calaway
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