Myth: Areas near lakes, rivers and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
Fact: No place is safe from tornadoes. A tornado near Yellowstone Nat'l Park left a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 foot mountain.
Myth: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
Fact: Leave windows alone. The most important action is to immediately go to a safe shelter.
Myth: If you are driving and a tornado is sighted, you should turn and drive at right angles to the storm.
Fact: The best thing to do is to seek the best available shelter. Many people are injured or killed when remaining in their vehicles.
Myth: People caught in the open should seek shelter under highway overpasses.
Fact: Take shelter in a sturdy reinforced building if at all possible. Overpasses, ditches, and culverts may provide limited protection from a tornado, but your risk will be greatly reduced by moving inside to a strong building.
- In an average year, tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries nationwide.
- Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, but are found most frequently in the U.S.
- Tornadoes can produce winds in excess of 250 mph.
- Tornadoes can be more than a mile wide and stay on the ground for more than 50 miles.
- The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but they have been known to move in any direction.
- Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over warm water.
- Tornadoes can occur any time of the year.
- Twisters are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m., but can happen at any time.