Is it possible to survive a tornado?
Surviving a tornado is possible, but it depends on many factors, including the strength of the tornado, a person’s location, and their actions before and during the elements. Here are a few guidelines that may increase the chances of survival:
- Keep an eye on weather forecasts. If you live in a region with a high probability of tornadoes, keep an eye on the weather, especially during tornado season.
- Have shelter. The best way to protect yourself is to stay in an underground shelter or a specialised tornado shelter. If you don’t have such a shelter, find a safe place in your home (such as in a bathroom, under a staircase, or in a windowless central part of your home).
- Protect your head and neck. Use mattresses, blankets, or even helmets to protect yourself from flying objects.
- If you are outside and cannot find shelter, it is best to lie down in a low spot or ditch and huddle close to the ground. Do not hide under bridges or elevated structures as they may collapse or become a source of flying objects.
- If you are in a car, the safest action is to seek shelter in a building. If this is not possible and a tornado is approaching, get out of your car and lie down in a low spot, staying away from your car and the road.
- Stay away from windows. Flying glass and objects can become dangerous projectiles.
- Keep your eyes open for information. Have a hand-held radio with batteries or a phone charger to keep up with news and weather warnings.
- Have a plan. Discuss a tornado contingency plan with your family in advance.
It is important to remember that even with all precautions in place, a tornado is extremely dangerous and absolute safety cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, it is preferable to minimise risks by following the advice and instructions of local emergency management authorities.