TULSA, Oklahoma - Knowing where you're going to take shelter during a tornado can mean life or death. Getting in a car to try to outrun a storm is dangerous.

  • 2011 - Joplin, Missouri
  • 2013 - Moore and El Reno

All areas hit by deadly tornadoes - but they all also had one surprising fact in common - an overall high survival rating.

"Most of the people who are even involved in that tornado don't experience the worst of the damage," said Kim Klockow-McClain, research scientist.
 
That's why experts say the safest place you can be during a tornado is sheltered inside your home not out on the road.  On the road is exactly where thousands of people ended up during the 2013 Moore tornado - stuck in a massive traffic jam.

"This tornado is west of that road right there," said News On 6 helicopter pilot Jim Gardner. "Those people need to get out of there."

The National Weather Service checked out more than 4,000 (4,222) structures that were in the tornado's path. Of those, only nine (0.2 percent) experienced EF-5 level damage. Sixty-eight percent of the damaged structures were only EF-0 or EF-1. 

"Even in the worst of the damage, 98 percent of people survived in well-built homes," Klockow-McClain said.

If you live in an apartment building or mobile home, you need to have an alternate place to take shelter and make sure you get there before a warning is even issued.