When it comes to tornado safety, there are just as many myths and misconceptions as there are facts. It is essential to know what the misconceptions are to ensure that you exercise maximum precaution and safety in the event of a tornado occurrence. Believing these misconceptions and myths can put the safety and lives of your loved ones, as well as yourself in danger. Here are 7 of the most significant tornado safety myths and misconceptions that you need to be aware of!
1) Opening windows will “equalize the pressure.”
Earlier, it was thought that opening the windows in your house could equalize pressure since a tornado has low pressure and your home has high pressure, preventing your house from exploding or being wholly damaged. However, it has been proven that this misconception holds no value and opening your windows only invites debris and wreckage into your house.
2) Overpasses are a safe shelter
Overpasses have been thought to provide safety during a tornado, but in reality, the case is opposite. While passing through an overpass, wind speeds increase, endangering the structure of the bridge itself. These high-speed winds are also capable of lifting off vehicles from the ground. In case you find yourself in a car during a tornado, seek shelter in the nearest stable structure or lie low in a low ditch that is below the road level.
3) Tornadoes never strike big cities
Tornadoes have been found to hit big cities in the US like Dallas and Miami, and these tornadoes are more dangerous since there is more debris and wreckage generated as a result of the tornado.
4) The southwest corner of a basement is the safest spot
This misconception comes from the belief that since tornadoes usually come from the southwest, the debris and wreckage is likely to be in the northeast direction and thus being in the southwest corner is least likely to expose you to waste. However, tornadoes can come from any direction, and since tornadoes have rotating winds, the debris can also fall into any direction.
5) Tornadoes have a season
Though tornadoes are more likely to occur during the spring and the fall, tornadoes as such have no specific season and can occur at any point in time.
6) Tornadoes don’t occur in mountains
Though tornadoes are less common in mountain regions, they are not absent from this terrain. The reason behind lesser occurrences of tornadoes in the mountains is due to the stable air present in that region, which is not very ideal for the development of severe weather conditions.
7) You can outrun a tornado
Tornadoes can move at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour, and depending on your fast car to get you as far as possible from the tornado isn’t the best idea. Get out of your vehicle as soon as possible and seek shelter in a safe spot.