How To Protect Yourself In A Car During A Tornado - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

How To Protect Yourself In A Car During A Tornado

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If you find yourself inside your car during a tornado, you have a few options. If you find yourself inside your car during a tornado, you have a few options.
One myth you shouldn't believe is taking cover under an overpass. One myth you shouldn't believe is taking cover under an overpass.
Damaged cars in Joplin, Missouri, after a tornado tore through the area. Damaged cars in Joplin, Missouri, after a tornado tore through the area.

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- One of the most helpless situations during a tornado is when you are driving and can't get to shelter.

"The best bet is to not be in your vehicle when a tornado is threatening," Donita Quesnel, with the American Red Cross, said.

But if you find yourself in that situation, you have a few options.

"If there's obviously a ditch by the side of the road that you can get into, lower-lying ground, that's the thing to do," Quesnel said. "Park the car, get out, get in that ditch, cover your head and neck and ride out the storm that way."

Laying down in a ditch does carry the risk of debris hitting you, but it's the best option, especially if the ditch has a culvert you can hide in. If there is no lower ground to get to...

"Fasten your seatbelt, slide down in your seat with your head below the windows, cover your face and your head with your arms and try to protect yourself that way," Quesnel said.

That is a new recommendation and emergency and disaster response agencies say it should be used as a second option if the first is impossible. One myth you shouldn't believe is taking cover under an overpass.

"Oftentimes, the wind speeds will increase under there and that can actually be a more dangerous place for you to be," Quesnel said. "People have been injured trying to get to those locations, when really, they may have been better off lying in a ditch."

When you look at the horrific images coming out of Joplin, it's a wakeup call, with crumpled cars that look like pieces of twisted metal. So make sure you know what to do in that situation.

"Bad things can still happen, but with any safety precaution, what you are really trying to do is increase your odds of survival," she said.

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