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Advice for Driving During a Tornado

The tragedy resulting from the recent tornado activity in the Midwestern United States, affecting 7 states and hitting hardest in Tuscaloosa, AL, has reminded us of the incredible power of nature and is both terrifying and humbling.  So far, 390 people have been confirmed dead, in what is now the deadliest tornado-driven natural disaster since the 1920’s.  Our thoughts are with those affected by this disaster.

At your safety is paramount to us.  That’s why we thought it appropriate to publish some safety tips should you find yourself stuck in your vehicle during a tornado warning.  If you absolutely cannot make it to safety, here is some basic advice to follow:

First, and foremost, DO NOT STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE, once again, GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE and head for shelter.  Cars, trucks, vans, and even tied-down mobile homes do not offer ample protection from tornados.

If you can, locate a well-constructed sturdy building and get there fast.  The lowest floor of a structure generally offers the best protection from tornados.  The basement of a home usually makes for a fine place to wait out the worst of the storm; however, in recent decades fewer homes are being constructed with basements, as building on a slab is cheaper and has become a popular alternative.  If there is no basement in the building you choose, stay in the center of the lowest floor, always away from windows and doors.  Like the old elementary school drills, find a desk or table and get under it, covering your head and neck with your arms.  Wait until you are sure the tornado has passed before leaving cover.

If you aren’t so fortunate and have no building or structure in which to seek shelter and are in your vehicle, you’ll have to make the best of your situation.  Find a depression, ditch, or low, flat area and lay in it.  Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from flying foreign objects.  Objects propelled through the air at high velocity are responsible for a large percentage of deaths and injuries during a tornado.  Finally, never try to outrun a tornado – chances are you will lose that race.  Instead, locate whatever shelter you can and get there quickly.

“Better safe than sorry” is a good adage when it comes to dealing with tornados.  If the weather conditions are threatening, and especially if your area is under a tornado watch, stay off the road if at all possible.  If you absolutely must drive under these conditions monitor the conditions carefully, listen to updates on the radio, and act promptly to seek cover if you must.  Hopefully, the information above will help you and your family to keep safe and protected from the potentially catastrophic dangers of tornados.

We’d love to hear your stories and experiences, along with any feedback you may have.  Feel free to comment below.  Thanks as always from, and stay safe.

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