Cars Offer Little Protection from Tornadoes

May 14, 2008 09:00 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
Several victims of tornadoes that hit the Midwest this weekend died in their cars, highlighting the importance of knowing natural disaster survival techniques.

30-Second Summary

More than one third of the 23 people killed by tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma and Missouri on May 10, 2008, died in their cars. This statistic emphasizes the unperceived danger of enduring a tornado in the seat of a car.

One highway patrol officer likened the impact of the tornado to “taking a handful of Matchbox cars and rolling them across the kitchen floor.”

“Vehicles of any size really don’t fare that well in a tornado,” said meteorologist Rick Smith. The safest place to go in a tornado is a strong structure.

There are specific dos and don’ts that apply to keeping you, and even your home, safe during a natural disaster.

In a tornado, don’t go to the southwest corner of your home, because most tornadoes approach from that direction. And if you’re on the road, don’t park under an overpass because they can act as wind tunnels, putting you in danger of being hit by debris.

Statistics from the last 10 years show that among natural occurrences, hurricanes and heat waves have caused the most fatalities in United States.

June 1 marks the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, and by some estimates, it could be a very active year.

Headline Link: Many tornado victims died in cars

Related Topics: What to do in a disaster

Other natural disasters

Reference: Protecting your home


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