This is one of my favorite tornado myths: The southwest corner of the home provides the safest location from flying debris.
Actually, I thought this was an excellent observation. I was so glad that actual verification of this statement was spot on.
Really? Look, I have been a storm spotter for many years. Although I have not been in an actual tornado, I have seen the funnels and the rotating and lowering wall clouds. In addition, I have witnessed winds coming from the opposite direction of an approaching storm. That's kind of eerie, actually. I've even been in a hurricane, witnessing the effects of Charley (August 2004) as it raced ashore and impacted the area I was located just outside of Orlando and Kissimmee Florida. I've seen what 100 mph winds can do to a structure. A screened-in porch was ripped away from a neighbor's home just down the street and sent flying overhead into the house next door to where I was staying. Therefore, just based on a minimum category 2 hurricane, I can assure you that no part of your home is safe when it comes to flying debris.
Take a look below at additional reasons why this myth is debunked. I really like the first one listed.
- This myth was devised slowly by the misconception that all tornadoes move to the northeast. Therefore as the tornado hits your home, all the debris would be directed to the northeast, away from you (Italics mine). Interestingly, if the tornado is approaching your location from the southwest, aren't you in the path of the debris field just northeast of the impending twister? Therefore, as the debris field pelts your home punching holes in the structure and smashing windows, the tornado now proceeds to ravage the rest of your structure, lifting the roof off, buckling the walls and sending any leftover flying debris into any corner of the house. Since tornadoes can move in any direction, this myth is false.
- The SW corner is no safer than any other part of the basement, because walls, floors and furniture can collapse (or be blown) into any corner.
- Debris such as motor vehicles can also be pushed into the basement by a tornado. You should position yourself under the I-Beam or a heavy work bench in your lowest level to increase your chances for survival.
- During a tornado warning, seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of the building, away from windows, and if possible, under a sturdy piece of furniture or staircase.
All comments in red are mine.