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Tornado Safety and Myths

| May 30, 2014

TORNADO SAFETY AND MYTHS from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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The County may not be tornado alley, but tornadoes can happen. So it’s important to know what to do. Lead Forecaster at the National Weather Service in Caribou, Joseph Hewitt says stay inside.

“Go to the lowest part of your house, which would be the basement. Or, if you don’t have a basement, then to go to the bathroom. Get in the tub and then cover yourself with a heavy blanket or mattress,” says Lead Forecaster at the National Weather Service, Joseph Hewitt.

Hewitt says you’ll want to make sure that your head is protected from any falling debris, so be sure to cover it. If you find yourself outside, there are a few things you can do.

“Of course the first thing you want to do is seek shelter and head indoors, but if you don’t have a chance to go indoors, the worst thing you can do is go to higher ground. You are going to want to go to the lowest part as you can and if you’re in an open field, just drop to your knees, lay down,” says Hewitt.

There are many myths connected with tornado safety. Hewitt says a popular misconception is that you should open your windows to equalize the pressure. This however is false and it’s only wasting precious time to find shelter.

“If you find yourself in a severe weather situation while driving, and a tornado is possible, the last thing you want to do is take shelter under an overpass.

Many people believe this is safe because overpasses are strong. The overpass will act as a wind tunnel, so winds will actually be stronger.

“The old expression go to a ditch, that’s not a very good observation sometimes. Sometimes you can get the hellacious rain, and then you run into a flooding problem and a drowning death,” says Hewitt.

Hewitt adds that it’s good to have a weather radio on hand with extra batteries. The radio will update you with all the severe weather information.

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