|Associated Press photo via MSNBC|
So says MSNBC. The photo of the woman survivor above in her damaged bathroom attests to the value of that advice in most tornadoes but not in the core of F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. The lack of basements there is a surprise to me and helps explain the huge death toll in that F-5 tornado.
The MSNBC article also states,
Given the huge death toll this year in cities where basements are rare, it is, perhaps, time to rethink public sheltering.
|Home completely swept away in 1957 Ruskin Heights F-5 Tornado, only commode (left) remains
of the bathroom. Photo from Time-Life.
The City of Andover, which suffered a horrible tornado twenty years ago, leads the way in tornado safety:
- They sound their tornado sirens only in the areas threatened
- They have two public shelters (see photo below)
The science of meteorology has provided excellent warnings of the 2011 tornado onslaught. But, we have to get the communications clear (i.e., sirens only going off where there is a genuine threat) and people need a place to go. In areas where soil conditions to not allow basements, public shelters and “safe rooms” need to get a serious look before the 2012 tornado season rolls around.