Tornado Myths

  • Myth: Areas near lakes, rivers, and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
  • Fact: No place is safe from tornadoes. A tornado near Yellowstone National Park left a path of destruction up and down a 10,000-foot mountain.
  • Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to "explode" as the tornado passes overhead.
  • Fact: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.
  • Myth: Windows should be opened before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.
  • Fact: Leave the 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 a strong building.