Thanks to the flatness of the Great Plains, you can usually see tornadoes coming from a distance. And if you happen to be in a car, it's often easy enough to drive to safety.

But when you can't get away from a tornado, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • One of the worst places to be during a powerful, severe thunderstorm or tornado is inside a vehicle. Wind can grab a car from beneath and toss it around. Debris can come crashing through the windows.
  • Avoid taking shelter under an overpass. Wind can funnel underneath them and reach speeds higher than out in the open.
  • Instead, take shelter in a ditch. It's the safest spot to be if you find yourself faced with a tornado alongside a highway because it is the lowest level you can be on the ground. It also allows some of the debris and the strongest wind speeds to go over your head.
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