Separating fact from fiction during a tornado

Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 09:07:09-04

(WXYZ) — When it comes to severe weather, especially tornadoes, there are a lot of myths out there and a lot of confusion. Knowing what's true and what's not can mean the difference between survival and tragedy when there's not a second to waste.

For Severe Weather Awareness Week, we're helping you separate tornado fact from fiction.

Question: Hiding under a freeway or overpass will protect you from a tornado?

Answer: Fiction. In fact, it could put you in more danger. Under an overpass, winds can be squeezed together and actually be stronger. Also, if you climb to higher ground, the winds will actually be faster. And, overpasses also tend to collect debris.

Question: I'm far from a tornado so I'm safe from debris?

Answer: Fiction. The farther away you are, the less likely you are to be hit by debris, but tornadoes are so powerful that light items have been known to float a really long way. Some for even 125 miles away.

Question: When confronted with a tornado warning, you should open all the windows in your house to equalize the pressure.

Answer: Fiction. It's also a waste of valuable time when seconds count. With cars, washing machines and refrigerators swirling in a tornado, you opening the windows won't make a difference.

What we need to stress is to get to safety as soon as you hear about a possible tornado. Don't worry about your car or other roperties, just get to safety as quickly as possible.