Texas Living

4 Tornado Myths Busted

By Matthew Becher 1.8.13

Tornadoes can form in the blink of an eye; when a Tornado Watch becomes a Tornado Warning, it’s time to act. The potential for danger can turn into risk to life and property within seconds. Safety precautions should be taken immediately. To help minimize the risks, here are a few myths about tornadoes and why you should ignore them.

Myth 1: A siren will sound indicating that the danger has passed.

Unlike the sirens that initiate the state of emergency, there is no siren signaling an “all-clear” that the emergency is over. The all-clear signal will be given via television or radio. Until that time, remain in cover: you are still in danger.

Myth 2: The safest place for me to go if I am in my car is the nearest overpass.

The worst place to take shelter on the road is under an overpass. Already high winds become accelerated, and you become a sitting duck for flying debris. The safety of being within your car is ultimately an illusion, and your chances of survival increase when taking cover in ditches and lower areas of ground.

Myth 3: In the event of a tornado, I’ll know what to do.

In this case, practice makes perfect: the more familiar you are with safety procedures, including where to go and how to get there, the better equipped you are for survival. Arm yourself with knowledge to combat the danger.

Myth 4: As long as I am in the centermost room in my house, I am safe.

Within a sturdy building, it’s best to take shelter in a small room in the centermost area of the building on the lowest floor, taking cover from potential glass and debris. To guard yourself against shattered windows, objects, or falling pieces of the building you’re in, utilize blankets, mattresses, mats, or anything able to absorb damage.