Tornado Safety

There are a lot of myths and rumors out there regarding tornadoes. Here are some of the most common, according to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office.

  • Tornadoes don’t cross rivers.
    • Landforms can and do influence the way tornadoes move after they touch the ground, but rivers do not have any effect on them. The deadliest tornado ever recorded-the Tri-State Tornado of 1925-crossed both the Wabash and Mississippi rivers without any problem.
  • Opening your windows will keep your house from exploding.
    • THIS IS VERY UNSAFE. DO NOT DO THIS! Opening windows will delay the time it takes for you to reach safety, allow debris to fly through the house without losing any of the speed or force that would have happened had it had to pass through standard home windows.
  • The southwest corner of the building is the safest
    • There is no directional corner that is the safest, as tornadoes can come from any direction and the debris that they hurl around isn’t limited to a direction, either. The safest place to be is in a below ground storm shelter, or a reinforced above-ground storm shelter. If neither of those are available, a small reinforced room such as a closet or bathroom on the lowest level of the home, closest to the center is your safest place.