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Drew: How to drive during a tornado

By Samuetta Hill Drew

For those of you who are frequent readers of my article, it often references how this region of the country is plagued by tornadoes. Unfortunately, a few weekends ago in Lee County another group of Alabama citizens experienced the devastation of a tornado. The volatility of a tornado makes it important to know how to react properly and how not to react if you’re caught driving when a tornado occurs. You don’t want to simply rely on your instincts.

First safety tip is never attempt to “put the pedal to the metal” and try to outrun a tornado. Due to their unpredictability, it can change direction at random. You could be driving in the opposite direction when it changes its path and suddenly it’s behind you. It is best to pull over on the side of the road and seek shelter immediately. Keep in mind the faster you drive makes it easier for the tornado to move your vehicle or lift your car.

When you’re seeking shelter after parking your vehicle do not crawl underneath your vehicle, this is not a safe place.  The powerful tornado winds could actually blow something on top of your vehicle potentially crushing you or it could blow the vehicle away leaving you extremely vulnerable. Remember the least powerful class of tornado is a F1 and it can contain winds up to 72 to 122 mph.

Look for a building and go to the lowest floor away from any windows. If there is not a substantial building around, go to the lowest point on the ground such as a ditch, etc. Make sure you cover your head with your hands. Avoid seeking shelter underneath a tree. This is not a safe place. Also try to make sure you’re not where some other types of objects could be picked up by the tornado.

Another unsafe place to seek shelter is under a bridge or in a tunnel. It may appear as a great go-to place, but it could be a deadly mistake. Tunnels do not have four walls and bridges have no walls at all. Neither of these structures have the ability to protect you during a tornado. Instead, tunnels may act as a channel which increases the tornado’s wind thus making it a more dangerous defenseless place.

The best safety tip is avoid driving during these types of severe weather conditions. These safety tips are for those individuals who find themselves with no options. Drive as safely as possible and practice as many safety precautions as possible.

Please be aware the information contained in this and other safety articles are obtained from various sources. These sources are believed to be reliable and accurate, as well as helpful. The facts are no safety tips can guarantee you or your love ones will never be negatively impacted from the use of this and other information contained in these articles. Keeping an Eye on Safety is extremely important for all and is a personal decision.