Tornado shelters during COVID-19: You need to plan now

2 months 4 days 5 hours ago Thursday, April 02 2020 Apr 2, 2020 Thursday, April 02, 2020 7:05:00 PM CDT April 02, 2020 in Continuous News
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Chief Meteorologist
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COLUMBIA - Severe weather season is here and it doesn't care that a pandemic has swept the world over and has most Americans sheltering in place and working from from.

The question has been raised, "If a tornado warning is issued should I leave my mobile home and go to a shelter, risking exposure to or spread of the novel coronavirus or should I stay and hope for the best?"

I cannot make you do anything, your life is in your hands, but I can give you guidance. Go to a shelter. Mobile homes are the last place you want to be in a tornado. Need a stat?

In 2019, 70-percent of tornado-related deaths occurred in mobile homes. A trailer is the last place you want to be. I'd rather you be in a ditch or dry culvert. Does that sound crazy? I'm serious.

Ditches don't allow for much suction and a tornado would go right over you. In a dry culvert, meaning it isn't filled with water, you are literally underground, the best place to be. 

Never go under an overpass during a tornado warning. You will be in a vacuum and the tornado can easily suck you from underneath the overpass. 

PLAN NOW, CALL NOW

So, you know you need to go to a shelter even during a pandemic. The important thing is to have that place set in stone NOW. Do not wait!

Some shelters are not opening during this pandemic. You need to call or visit the shelter NOW and ask if they will be open for tornado warnings. If you wait until the day-of or the moment-of, it may be too late.

Make your plans now and have peace of mind.

Be sure to download the KOMU 8 Weather & Traffic App and turn on notifications. We will send you notifications with exclusive video updates when we are tracking severe potential. Our goal is for you to never be caught off guard. Stay with us. We have you covered. 

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