After Wednesday, tornado safety tips for North State

Mar 28, 2014 6:35 PM

There was relative calm today after Wednesday’s storm.

But this weekend, Action News Now Meteorologist Kris Kuyper says, “The atmosphere is going to exhibit a little bit of what we call a sheer, which if we get a thunderstorm going, that very well could get in the motion there. So funnel clouds or even a tornado cannot be ruled out for Saturday afternoon.”

After speaking with residents along Road 39 in Glenn County, National Weather Service Forecaster Brooke Bingaman came to the conclusion that some people don’t know what to do in a tornado.

“Some people actually got in their cars and tried to drive away,” Bingaman said.

Gary Anderson may have been guilty of that.

“We went and drove out the driveway as the thing just touched down out back of the house,” said Anderson, who lost 50 almond trees in the storm.

But let's separate fact from fiction, per NOAA and the National Weather Service.

Cars are not sturdy shelter, and can be death traps in tornadoes.

Another piece of fiction: overpasses are a good form of shelter. In reality, they can also be deathtraps.

“When it comes to a tornado the best thing is to really stay in place and shelter,” Bingaman said.

While building their future home, the Spooner family is living in a temporary one-level adjacent to the building site.

It's grounded, whereas mobile homes are not, and should be left for safer shelter.

When the hail started smacking their house, the Spooners rushed into their daughter's room that had no windows.

“Sometimes it's good to put things over you like a mattress in case windows bust in so you don't get hurt or damaged by anything falling or blowing around in your house,” Bingaman said.

Blankets or sleeping bags will do too. And if your family has a basement, get down there. Go under the stairwell, a sturdy work bench, and definitely away from any heavy appliances on the floor above.

The National Weather Service released a final tornado summary today: three touchdowns between 5:30 and 6pm, with at least 100 trees uprooted, one thrown 227 feet.

For more safety tips, click here.


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