Tornado safety in the home: separating fact from myth - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Tornado safety in the home: separating fact from myth

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OREGON, Ohio -

If you have kids in your life, stories about children who faced the Moore, Oklahoma tornado are especially heartbreaking.

There are things you can do to put yourself into a safer place when tornadoes threaten.

In 1925, our nation's deadliest tornado touched down in Missouri, crossed Illinois, and lifted in Indiana.

It killed 695 people.

In 1953, our nation's 10th deadliest tornado killed 115 people in Flint, Michigan.

Destructive tornadoes are not limited to Tornado Alley.

"You have to take it seriously," Gina Clemens, a mother of a two year old, said. 

She shared her effective plan: "When there's a tornado warning, the first thing we want to do is make sure everyone is accounted for, whoever is in our house, whether it is guests or just us three. We make sure that we go into the basement, and we take a radio that has batteries in it, and we take flashlights.  We also take cell phones with us in case family members are looking for us.... The Lake High School tornado - that's when people really started taking things seriously, and talked about having tornado safety kits."

There are a couple of old tornado myths. 

There's no need to open up your windows. It's a waste of time. Every every moment counts when there's a tornado warning. and opening windows won't really change your chances of seeing destruction or damage in your home. Just get down into the basement.

People also used to say that the southwest corner of your basement is safest. Now, research shows that survival rates are about the same no matter where you are - as long as you're in the basement, underground.

If you don't have a basement, go to a small interior room like a bathroom or closet, away from windows, on the lowest floor.

If in a mobile home, it is so important to go to a sturdier structure nearby, like a tornado shelter, or friend's house.

Here are a few other great things to consider: a helmet - whether it be a bike helmet, football helmet or motorcycle helmet, will only help to protect your head.

Also, if you have an infant or young child, take the car seat to the basement, and buckle them in. You can hold onto the car seat much tighter, without hurting them.

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