There are a lot of myths about tornadoes. I think most of us realize that tornadoes don't target trailer parks. Trailers are just more likely to sustain damage in a storm because they aren't as well constructed as most houses.
What about some of the more realistic sounding myths? How many of these did you believe?
- If you are driving when a tornado approaches, you should shelter under an overpass until it passes. This is actually a bad idea as the winds can accelerate under them and there is no shelter from flying debris. If you are in your vehicle and there is a tornado close by, it is best to abandon the vehicle and shelter in a ditch. If it is farther away, then move away from the storm by driving at a right angle to its path.
- Opening windows in a house will prevent it from exploding when a tornado passes by. No. There is no truth to pressure changes causing a building to explode. Don't stop to open windows. Just get to the safest area of your home.
- Large cities can't be hit by tornadoes. Nope! You're not safer in an urban area. This is a myth. Atlanta, Salt Lake City, St. Louis and Topeka are all cities that have been struck by tornadoes.
- The southwest corner of a building is the safest place in a tornado. This used to be believed true but has been debunked. It was based on the idea that most tornadoes travel in a northeasterly direction and presumptions about how debris moves in a tornado. In any event, there is no truth to this one.
- Tornadoes don't strike in winter. While it may be less likely for a tornado to form in winter as they often require warm temperatures to form, it is not impossible.
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