Tips on staying safe during a tornado - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tornado safety tips from the experts

(FOX19) -

At least 9 people were killed, and around 100 more were injured when a series of tornadoes terrorized the Oklahoma City area Friday night. 

If you hear the warning sirens, and know something's going on, what do you do?

"If you experience a direct hit by a tornado, there are no guarantees.  Even if you do everything right, there's no guarantee you're going to survive.  All you can do is take action to increase the chances you survive," said FOX19 Chief Meteorologist, Steve Horstmeyer.

It all starts with a plan.

"Always have a plan.  If you're at home, you've got to know where the safe spot is.  If you're at work, your work environment either has a plan or you know the safest place to go," added Horstmeyer.

If you're in a building or at home, the safest place for you to be is just a few steps away.

"Inside a home you want to get as many walls between you and the outside environment.  If you can get to a basement, or a low level, that's the best," said Capt. Darian Edwards of the Colerain Fire Department.

Reports from the affected areas in Oklahoma say a few of the deaths were of people in their cars during the storms.  It begs the question, "Is a vehicle really a safe place to be during a big storm?"

"A car's never a place to be during a tornado.  Just think of you being an egg in an egg crate, and throwing the egg crate across the room.  The egg crate may be fine, the egg's not going to be.  It's not a good place to be, even if you have your seatbelts on," said Horstmeyer.

But sometimes you're out of options and stuck on a roadway in your vehicle as the storm is approaching.  What should you do?

"If you're stuck out in traffic in a car, you may be out of options, as I mentioned.  But, you still may have time to get out of the car, get into a ditch.  When you're below general ground level, debris will blow past you," said Horstmeyer.

More tips on how to stay safe during a tornado are available in the video.

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