With the latest Massachusetts cyclone comes yet another grim reminder of the deadly perils of twister season. You might want to ask yourself: are you really as savvy about tornadoes as you should be?
Myth #1: A highway overpass is a good place to take shelter from a tornado.
The overpass theory may be based on famous footage shot by a news crew in Kansas, who hid under a highway bridge as a twister tore through their area. Although the crew lived to tell the tale, it seems that they got lucky.
An overpass actually funnels the tornado through a narrow space, increasing the wind speed. According to the National Weather Service, if you are caught in the open, a ditch is the best place to seek shelter.
Myth #2: The southwest corner of your hiding place is the safest position.
A safety film from the 1950s is largely responsible for promulgating this incorrect advice. Experts now say that this tip is wrong.
"Where you want to be located if a tornado is approaching is in the centermost part of your home, your school, wherever you are. You want as many walls between you and the outside as possible," a Red Cross representative told us.
Myth #3: Opening your windows equalizes pressure and minimizes damage.
"Opening a window, all it really does is delay the time that you have to save your life. It's absolutely not worth worrying about," the expert said.
Myth #4: Tornadoes don't hit cities.
As we learned from the twisters that just tore through Massachusetts, cities are not immune to such storms.