Tornado Myths & Misconceptions

Understanding popular misconceptions about tornadoes can help you better prepare for an unexpected tornado.
By the Mother Earth News Editors
April/May 2001

It's important to know how to prepare for a surprise tornado.


Content Tools

Related Content

96 Percent of Americans Believe GMOs Should Be Labeled

The vast majority of Americans believe labeling GMOs is necessary and ethical.

Sawmill on the Homestead

A first blog by sawmiller & long-time homesteader Dave Boyt. A little of my past history, and ho...

Facebook's Found Photos Page: A Touching Tribute to Tornado Victims

Reconnecting with family photos and important papers may seem like small change in the wake of the t...

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Cleaning Up (Tornadoes)

Tips on how to stay safe during clean-up activities after a tornado.

April and May are the prime months for tornadoes in much of the United States. A little knowledge about these deadly storms can go a long way toward guarding your safety. Here are a few tornado myths and misconceptions to watch out for:

A tornado watch means you should seek shelter immediately.

False. If your area is under a watch, that merely means the weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado — stay alert and listen for further updates. If you hear that a tornado warning has been issued for your town or county, that means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar, and may be headed in your direction. Take shelter as soon as possible. And, if possible, stay tuned to NOAA weather radio information, or local radio and television stations.

Tornadoes strike only trailer parks.

False. Trailer homes are not tornado magnets, but they do tend to sustain greater damage than more substantial houses. If you live in a mobile home, plan to hide out in a stable, nearby structure when tornadoes threaten.

Tornadoes don't happen in my part of the country.

False. In fact, tornadoes have occurred in every state, even Alaska. They are less common in some regions than others, but you should know basic tornado safety wherever you live. Check out the history of tornadoes in your area through The Tornado Project, the Tornado History Project, the Online Tornado FAQ, and USA Today's historical information on tornadoes.

If a tornado is nearby, open some of your windows to prevent pressure from building up.

False. Window destruction probably has more to do with lift and shear than with air pressure; your time would be more wisely spent seeking appropriate shelter.

In the event of a tornado emergency, seek shelter in the southwest corner of your home.

False. Your best bet is to lay low in a storm shelter or basement or, lacking subterranean digs, seek shelter near a strong interior wall of your house.

TORNADO SAFETY TIPS

FURTHER RESOURCES

 








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.