5 tornado safety myths debunked - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

5 tornado safety myths debunked

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Experts say it's not a matter of if a deadly tornado will hit the Hub City again, but when. KCBD set out to fact check common advice about what to do in an emergency and found that some of what we've been told just isn't true.  

Myth number one advises residents to open their windows during a storm. This is supposed to reduce pressure in your home and keep your structure safe. KCBD's Chief Meteorologist John Robinson says this advice is dangerously untrue.

"In reality, we want people to stay away from windows because as the storm approaches, you're going to have those windows likely shattering," Robison said.

The second myth we found, recommends that people seek shelter in a basement and head for the southeast corner of the room. Although a basement is the ideal place to ride out a storm, it doesn't really matter which corner you're in.

"Make sure you're in the basement. The location of the basement doesn't matter. The idea is to be in the basement and cover up," Robison said.

The third myth we found advises drivers to seek shelter under an overpass when a tornado is approaching. Another tip we found false.

"The winds may actually increase as they're funneled in through the bridge. They'll be a lot of debris from the tornado as it approaches, so you're really a sitting target. Park your car, get away from the car, and get in a low lying area," Robison said.

Our fourth myth says that tornados never travel over roads, hills, streams or lakes. Robison tells us geography has nothing to do with a tornado's path.

"Tornados will go the track of the storm. They will go in the mountains, they'll go in the valleys, they'll go across water," Robison said.

And our last myth keeps getting proven wrong over and over again.

Many believe that tornadoes can't hit cities, but Lubbock was devastated by a tornado in 1970 and the cities of Granbury and Cleburne suffered the wrath of this unpredictable weather.

For more tornado safety tips and information visit the NOAA Storm Prediction Center's website at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/index.html#Safety

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