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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Protect your head and neck. Use mattresses, blankets, or even helmets to protect yourself from flying objects.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Stay away from windows. Flying glass and objects can become dangerous projectiles.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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