Please take a few minutes with your family and practice (as we do in school) for weather emergencies. The safest place in a tornado is usually the northeast side of the house in a closet or bathroom. Have pillows and quilts nearby.. Be sure to have weather radio and extra batteries... If you experience damage from storms, don't allow anyone to do work on your property right away (except for life-threatening). Check your insurance policies NOW... what is your deductible?? And what exactly does it cover??? Keep that cell phone handy and be sure it is charged.
Yes, we were hit on March 1st, when the string of tornadoes came across Alabama, Americus, then on down to us. We only had lots of tree damage, but very close to our house. Divine Providence that we were safe. I also posted on other forum I think it was our Round-up.
You might mention that the northeast corner of a basement is safer than a bathroom or closet if you happen to have a basement. I know most homes in the south don't. Here in the Upper Midwest we almost all do.
It used to be thought that the corner was the safest. Advisories don't suggest that anymore. The lowest level is always the safest, that's true, but stay away from corners.
I have seen homes twisted on their foundations leaving the corners of the basement exposed to the outside. Can't find a picture I was looking for that shows it. :-(
This from disaster.com is pretty up-to-date:
[quote]If tornado winds enter the room, debris has a tendency to collect in corners. When selecting a tornado "safe place," look for a place on the lowest level and away from windows, preferably in a small room (closet or bathroom) in the center of the house. Closer walls will help provide more support to the roof, and each wall between you and the outside will provide further protection.[/quote]
Stay near the center of the basement if you can. The house may very well twist, and if it does, you're in the safest place. Frequently the roof will go, but the false ceilings of bathrooms and closets will stay. If the entire structure is blown away, there is no safest place, unfortunately.
I know that quite some time ago they stopped advising people to open windows during a tornado (supposedly to equalize pressure, which we now know isn't the cause of houses being damaged), but I didn't know about the basement. That's good to know.