~The most extreme tornado ever recorded was the "tri state tornado" which hit parts of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 8th 1925. Although tornadoes were not ranked at all during that time period it was likely an F5. Its path was 219 miles long, lasted for about 3.5 hours, and was moving at a speed of an estimated 73 mph.
MYTH: Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
FACT: No terrain is safe from tornadoes. In the late 1980's, a tornado swept through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 ft. 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: Opening windows allows damaging winds to enter the structure. Leave the windows alone; instead, immediately go to an underground shelter, basement, interior room, or bathroom without windows.
What YOU Can Do
Before the Storm:
Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors.
Have frequent drills.
Know the county/parish in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.
Listen to radio and television for information.
If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.
If a Warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches:
In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as an underground shelter.
If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
Stay away from windows.
Get out of automobiles.
Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer no protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.