Two guys from North Dakota, who apparently are vying for the title of dumbest midwesterners on the planet, thought it would be a neat idea yesterday to film a tornado that was coming right at them from like a block away.
It’s an amazing video. It’s “Surrender Dorothy” quality.
And amazingly stupid of the two guys.
While it’s possible that the guys grew up in, oh I don’t know, Alaska, it’s difficult to understand how two midwesterners didn’t understand the significance and deadliness of a tornado. We grew up in the midwest with tornado warnings, real and test, all the time. It’s something every midwestern kid has drilled into his head. Tornadoes kill. Run to safety.
And whether or not these guys were in some kind of home without a basement, I just can’t fathom how you don’t know – again, as a midwesterner – where to go, and what to do, when a tornado hits.
Here’s what you don’t do: Stand outside and laugh while filming it with your camera.
Second thing you don’t do: Sit in your car and watch, and then roll the window down to get a better video.
I did a little googling, and while you can try to make a home like this more secure, the smartest thing to do is leave and find a shelter, like a local school.
Wikipedia has more – you do NOT get in a car:
The least safe place to be is inside something the tornado can pick up; you’re actually better off outside.
If you are in a mobile home and there’s a tornado warning, you should seek out the nearest storm shelter or protected building. People morbidly joke that mobile homes and trailers must somehow attract tornadoes because they are so often shown on TV as twister disaster areas; the serious truth is that their vulnerability is why they make for the most sensational news clips. Studies have shown that a mobile home is the worst place you can be during a tornado; the broad sides of the structure are like a sail in the wind, and there’s nothing to hold them in place. It may sound counterintuitive, but you should leave the mobile home and get in a ditch, culvert, or drain pipe, low to the ground. If you are staying in a mobile home and trailer park ask management if there is a tornado shelter close by. These may be cellars or sturdy buildings.
If you are in your automobile and you see a tornado coming, don’t try to out-run it; tornadoes can easily outrun a car driving into a 100mph headwind. Your safest option is to leave the car and get in a sturdy building. If that is not available, get out of the car and get in a low area such as a culvert, drain pipe or ditch. If you are staying in your car, attempt to drive at right angles to the tornado to get out of its path. If the tornado does not appear to be moving left or right, chances are it is coming straight for you. A car is probably safer than a mobile home (less wind-catching surface to drag it into the air), but it’s still safer to get out and hunker down low. The best option is to find a ditch to lie flat in, and cover up.
As a midwesterner, I can’t even imagine being that close to a tornado and thinking it’s funny and worth a YouTube.