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Day 165: Tornado Safety May 15, 2007

Posted by Admin in Meteorology.
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Where is the best place to take shelter from a tornado?  Without a doubt, it is below ground.  Whenever a below-ground shelter is available, such as a storm cellar or basement, that is your best bet.  We went on to discuss other considerations in class today, from what to do if you don’t have a basement to what to do if you are caught outside or in a car.

We discussed at great length why a highway overpass is a bad place to seek shelter.  A very widespread misconception was spread by the Andover, KS tornado of 04/26/1991 when a family took shelter beneath an overpass and survived.  Since then, countless people have died when they sought shelter in those locations, only to be swept away by the storm.

There is a great online presentation that has been put together by a team of meteorologists from the National Weather Service office in Norman, OK seeking to dispell this horrible misconception.  This presentation was developed following the deaths of several people that sought shelter under overpasses during the May 3, 1999 OKC tornado oubreak.  The multimedia presentation includes the facts, the images, and some animations showing exactly why this is so risky.  View the entire presentation:  Highway Overpass as Tornado Shelters:  Fallout from the May 3, 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado Outbreak.

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