Tornado Safety - Where to go during a Tornado?
It's likely most of you have heard of the horrible storm that ripped through central Florida this past week that killed at least 20 and possibly more. Most of Floridians are at a huge disadvantage when dealing with Tornadoes. Hurricanes tend to be more dangerous than Tornadoes but they have a better warning system in place where one can leave the effected area. A Tornado is so fast and so hard to predict that one may have only minutes to react. Floridians are used to dealing with Hurricanes but Tornadoes are less likely. The reason Floridians are at a disadvantage when dealing with a Tornado is because the majority of the homes built in Florida do not have basements. The water level is too high and the ground is made mostly of sand or poor soil so constructing a home with a basement is difficult if not impossible in Florida. So with regards to where the best place to go is during a Tornado really depends on your home. Before we get into the best places to hide during a Tornado I must recommend every household have a Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) Weather Radio. A SAME weather radio works by you entering in your zip code or location into the radio and it will warn you of weather emergencies specific to your location. A $30 weather radio could save your life.
Where to go really depends on your home. Depending on what type of home you live in depends on where you go in case of an emergency or in this case a Tornado. As I mentioned above, homes in certain parts of the world differ greatly. Some homes don't have basements, some homes are framed with wood, and some ar framed with cinder blocks or bricks. If your home has a basement or a storm shelter it is best if you take your SAME radio with you and find and find a blanket to put over you or go under a heavy table. Be sure to stay away from any windows or anything that can break and become a projectile.
If your home doesn't have a basement, or storm shelter but you live in a single family home you will want to find an interior room with no windows or breakables. Once agin, if you can cover up with a blanket or go under a table it is highly recommended. Sometimes a small bathroom with a bath tub that is centrally located is a great option. Another interior option is to sit within a door jam or under a door arch as these door jams are framed better as to hold up more weight.
If you're outside and stuck in a Tornado your best options are to find a low lieing area or a ditch as Tornado usually skims across the gound and often times doesn't even touch the ground. So get out of your vehicle and run to the nearest creek or ditch.
The moral of the story is to be safe, get a SAME weather radio and of course always carry homeowners insurance. Don't let your homeowners insurance lapse and don't consider saving a buck by cancelling your policy. You can be lucky and lack a claim for some time but eventually everyones luck runs out and it's important to have the coverage to get you back on your feet.