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VERIFY: Is Car Safer Than Mobile Home In Tornado?

If you live in a mobile home, are you safer staying in the home or getting into your car when a tornado is approaching?


A tornado warning activates, and it's go time. Every second of preparation counts. Safe spaces should have been pre-determined, so the plan gets implemented on autopilot.

That's why, three weeks since the April 15 tornado, Good Morning Show viewer Susan Ashworth submitted a question to VERIFY:

"My sister recently watched a program about surviving different disasters. She said that when they talked about tornadoes and mobile homes, they gave advice which contradicts what we both have heard. They said that there is no safe place in a mobile home, and this is what they said to do -- get in your car and put on your seatbelt, have windows up and pad yourself with blankets or pillows. The reasoning was that you would be safer in the car even if the tornado picked it up because if the car had airbags they might inflate and protect you. If the car didn't have them they felt that you would still be protected more than in the mobile home. Would you check with the great meteorologists at News 2 and let me know if this is true. Thanks. I enjoy watching you."


To VERIFY, we consulted Good Morning Show meteorologist Eric Chilton and chief meteorologist Tim Buckley.


They explained this theory is nonsense. In the event of a tornado, you are not safe in either a mobile home or a car, and it is crucial to make sure you have pre-established a permanent structure nearby where your family will seek shelter in a tornado. If there is no sturdy building nearby, lie flat in a ditch, face down and protect the back of your head with your arms.

If you are already driving during a tornado, do not park under an overpass. Experts say overpasses are more dangerous during a tornado. High winds approach the overpass and get funneled into a small space. The wind gets stronger underneath, and that wind can toss debris at a higher speed.

If you are inside during a tornado, do not waste time trying to open your windows. The theory that opening house windows can equalize pressure and prevent damage is a myth. You could be wasting valuable time getting to shelter.


You are not any safer in a car than in a mobile home during a tornado. Avoid both and determine another safe place for your family.


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