FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It’s a terrifying proposition. Being stuck in your car as winds well over 100 mph swirl around you.
Although there are a few things the National Weather Service (NWS) said you can do to help in a situation like that, the best thing is to avoid being on the road during storms that may result in a tornado.
“I would say your best bet is not being in that position in the first place,” said Jim Andersen, a lead meteorologist with the NWS.
However, if you are in the position of being on the road when a tornado strikes, he said that you can do small things to increase the likelihood of your survival.
“If a tornado is bearing down on you and you are not able to drive out of there, the last case scenario is to try and get out of your vehicle and get into a ditch or culvert,” Andersen said. “Believe me this is a last-ditch effort, no pun intended.”
But even the ditch can be a precarious place as Andersen said you have to watch out for rising water levels and other factors brought on by a tornado.
“[If] you go in a low spot, there is no guarantee you won’t get sucked up out there,” Andersen said. “In a tornado, there is so much flying debris [that] some of that could get in there and you could get hurt.”
But why get out of the car in the first place?
It’s a question that has been tossed around by safety and weather specialists alike, but for Andersen, it’s an easy answer.
“You might be able to be protected somewhat, but the thing is a car can be very easily picked up, thrown, lofted hundreds of feet into the air,” Andersen said.
At the end of the day, Andersen says that almost anywhere is preferable to being on the road when a tornado is probable, and he said it’s best to plan around storms and stay at home.