Extremely important tornado survival tips can help you and your family prepare for severe twisters, stay alive and rebuild after they’re gone. But it’s also very important to know the facts from the myths, to ensure that you are really prepared when the tornado hits.

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• A common myth about a tornado is that opening the windows in your home will equalize the pressure, which is thought to protect your home from damage.

• Tornadoes hit big cities just like rural areas! Statistics show that large cities like Oklahoma City and Atlanta can be, and are, hit by large tornadoes. There are many more rural areas in the U.S. than large cities, and a tornado does not discriminate. An above-ground tornado shelter or underground tornado shelter is the only true protection.

• Tornadoes are documented as having struck mountainous areas. Don’t forget that tornadoes are not stopped by any terrain! Tornadoes can cross over or travel along rivers or other bodies of water.

• If you are traveling in your car when you see a tornado, hiding under an overpass is not the safest thing to do. The tornado’s winds could interact with the structure of the bridge, causing you to be in an even more dangerous place.

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Always remember, if possible, when you receive a tornado warning, immediately get to a shelter. Make sure your tornado shelter is ready when you are by stocking it with emergency gear and ensuring it is constructed of the finest materials, like steel, which stands up to the elements.

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Summer 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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