Do You Really Know Where to Seek Shelter During a Tornado?


CENTRAL ILLINOIS- Numerous myths have circulated over the years on how to stay safe when a tornado strikes. Some used to believe opening windows would equal out the pressure inside the building. In reality, opening windows during severe weather is dangerous due to flying debris. Seeking shelter under a bridge or underpass was once thought to be safe. In fact, underpasses and bridges create intense wind tunnels, making that once seemingly safe shelter quite dangerous. 

In your home, go to the lowest, most interior portion and stay away from doors leading outside and windows. If you're in a mobile home, seek shelter in a more secure building well before the storm approaches. Do not seek refuge in a garage, shed, or vehicle. Go to the lowest, most interior part of your school or business. Avoid large spaces, such as gyms cafeterias, or auditoriums. Avoid large open areas in shopping malls. Seek shelter in interior hallways or restrooms the lowest floor possible. Do not try to escape the storm in your vehicle. If caught on your vehicle, try to seek refuge in a nearby sturdy building. As a last resort, lie flat in a ditch and cover your head to protect yourself from flying debris. Never try to outrun a tornado, and NEVER seek shelter under a bridge or underpass. 

Remember, nearly eighty percent of tornadoes occur in April through June, during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The National Weather Service in Lincoln says that in a typical year, Illinois averages 47 tornadoes. Last year, 54 tornadoes were reported. Nearly half of these tornadoes occurred on November 17, 2013. Despite all the loss and devastation, early warnings and basements in many homes helped prevent more loss of life during that major tornado outbreak.

Always keep in mind that severe weather can strike anyone at any time during the year. Always be ready!

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