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Staying Safe In Severe Weather

May 27, 2014, 6:36 PM by Scot Mundt

Staying Safe In Severe Weather

A 15-year-old girl is critically hurt after a tornado ripped through the North Dakota oil fields.

The National Weather Service believes the twister rated at an EF- 2 with winds peaking at 120 miles an hour.  The storm hit so quickly, there was little time to find shelter.

When a tornado struck just south of Watford City in North Dakota Monday night, nine people were injured and fifteen trailers were destroyed.  Watford City is 30 miles southeast of the oil boom hub city of Williston.

The tornado serves as a reminder of what to do when a sturdy shelter may not be available.  Here are some recommendations.

If you're in a mobile home, it's a good idea to get out, even if your home is tied down.  Some areas have storm shelters that are available.  Go to one of those shelters or to a nearby permanent structure. Most tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes.

If outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground.  Protect the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can; they may be blown onto you in a tornado.

In a car, if the tornado is visible and far away, you may be able to drive out of its path.  If you do this, get out of its way by moving at right angles to the tornado.

Unfortunately, you might be caught in the extreme winds or debris.  If this is the case, park the car as quickly and safely as possible. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or anything else that can cushion you.

If you can safely get noticeably lower than the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area.  Again, cover your head with your hands. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.

The best defense is to have a tornado plan in place and stay informed on the weather.

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