Would you know what to do in a severe weather situation, particularly during a tornado warning, if you’re at home?  

The key to survival in any severe weather situation is to have a plan and make sure it is known by everyone in the home, especially children.   

When selecting a safe area inside your home, there are two main goals.  

The first is to put as many barriers between you and the outside as possible. The next thing is to get as low as possible – underground is best.  

Linda Honeycutt of McMinnville had a storm shelter built in her backyard.  

“I am really afraid of storms, and when it gives a Tornado Warning, my hair stands up,” she said. “But really, you know I did it because I live in a trailer and all the weather people say get out of the trailer, so I knew that had to be safer than a trailer was.”  

Honeycutt’s shelter is made of solid concrete and sits partially underground. It has a steel door that locks from the inside and holds up to about eight people.  

A basement can also be a good shelter, but many homes in Middle Tennessee don’t have them due to the rocky nature of the soil. 

If you don’t have a storm shelter or basement, find a location that is as close to the ground as possible, preferably on the lowest level of your home. You should also try to put as many walls – like a bathroom or an interior closet – between you and the outside as possible.  

Don’t forget to stay away from doors, windows and outside walls.  

It’s not usually the wind itself that kills people, but the flying debris being carried by the wind or falling debris pushed over by it.  

Knowing where to go and what to do in a severe weather situation can greatly increase your chances of survival.  

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