How to Survive a Tornado

The light outside has turned green, hail is falling everywhere, and the tornado is upon you. Literally. Oferheah over head. Surviving a tornado can be a simple thing if you plan ahead and don’t panic. Otherwise you have internalized the whirlwind, and spinning out is seldom useful.

Choose your tornado wisely. Shh. Listen. A quieter tornado contains fewer objects and will be safer than the one roaring from the sound of stuff smashing together. Also notice color. A white or gray tornado does not hold as much debris as one that has turned brown. Try to pick a nice clean one.

Also try to avoid being blown off your feet. Stay out of cars and trailers. If you have a windowless bathroom with a bathtub in it, get in the tub. Do not turn on the water and take a bath, you do not want to be hurled out of it and into the world wearing absolutely nothing as you might shock your neighbors. Instead, put on a parka. this may seem counterintuitive as tornados tend to happen on nice warm days, but due to a sharp temperature drop from lower internal pressure, the interior of one is much colder and can feel wintry, so it is important to say warm. Bonus: if you are blown off your feet, a thick parka can protect you from flying debris such as cattle and trees.

Because of the lower air pressure, the inside of so much whirling wind is paradoxically quite airless. The oxygen supply is similar to what one might experience at extreme altitude. To avoid hypoxia you may wish to bring an oxygen tank with you or just take slow deep breaths.

There are plenty of stories of tornados driving various objects through trees such as straws, forks, playing cards, match sticks, thorns, blades of grass, actual blades. Avoid the trees; don’t fight them.

Watch out for lightning. There’s plenty of it and you’ll see it coming. If you are already airborne, it is a myth that not being grounded is a safer way to experience a lightning strike. Alas the heat from the electrical current passing through you will boil you up just as surely as it does when you are on the ground, if the shock doesn’t stop your heart first. Do be careful.

For a landing site aim for deep water or soft ground. Try to avoid structures, dwellings, anything with walls. Hope to be alone, exiled in wretchedness, and expectant of mercy and sustenance. You’ll have nothing else.