Tornadoes conjure up images of massive funnel clouds tearing over the expansive Great Plains of the United States during springtime, but tornadoes range in size and strength and can happen anywhere, at any time of the year.
Although freak accidents happen ― and the most violent tornadoes can level a house ― most tornadoes are much weaker than the monster EF5s (the highest tornado rating) most people imagine, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) says in their tornado FAQ, and knowing proper tornado safety tips can help you get through the storm,.
But there are a lot of tornado safety folklore and myths out there, so it can be hard to know what advice to follow. Here are five of the most pervasive tornado safety myths, as well as a few tips to follow:
Myth #1: Opening windows will equalize pressure.
The SPC said it best: "Opening the windows is absolutely useless, a waste of precious time, and can be very dangerous. Don't do it."
All it might get you is a bunch of debris blown into your house by a tornado's fierce winds ― which could be dangerous. And if a tornado hits your house, it most likely will break the window anyway, the SPC noted.