How to Survive a Tornado
Surviving a tornado hinges upon having the right place to take shelter and being able to get there before the storm hits. As violent as tornadoes can be, every twister is survivable if you get to the proper shelter. Unfortunately, people aren't always able to get somewhere safe in time, or they may not know the best option for their current circumstances. The following tornado survival tips will give you and your kids the best chance for survival amid any circumstance.
What is the safest place to be in a tornado?
1. Underground: By far the safest place to be during a tornado is underground, whether in a basement, storm shelter or even storm sewer tunnel. Burrowing underground gets you underneath the fiercest crosswinds.
2. The building's interior: If the building you're in has no basement or storm shelter, you want to get to the strongest part of the building. This is typically a smaller room in the interior of the building. Outer walls will tend to go first, and the smaller the room, the sturdier the wall structure surrounding it will be.
3. The sturdiest building: Concrete or commercial buildings are more likely to hold up to a tornado than wood-frame houses or buildings. Mobile homes or pre-fab steel barns or buildings are some of the worst places.
The absolute worst place to be during a tornado is in your car, or inside a trailer or a mobile home.
Surviving a tornado in your home
Tornado survival tip #1: If you have time, have children put on their bicycle helmet
It may sound silly, but having your child wear their bicycle helmet really can improve their chances of survival. The problem with tornadoes isn't the wind; it's that within that wind there are thousands of hard objects being thrust around at high speeds. Imagine it as though your child is in a batting cage with pitching machines thrusting baseballs at them from every direction. Having a helmet on can mean the difference between life and death should they take a piece of a two by four to the head. There are documented cases of helmeted children surviving a blow to the head from tornado debris who almost surely would have died had they not had a helmet on. If your kids are in full-contact karate, a sparring vest can also provide additional protection for their midsection.
Tornado survival tip #2: Strap infants in baby seats
Along the same lines, strapping an infant or toddler into a car seat can help protect them against flying debris while stabilizing and shielding their spine, just as it does in a car accident. It may also help you hang onto them by giving you something sturdy to grip.