Spring marks the height of the tornado season, and it is important to know key facts about tornado survival.
Last month, 108 homes were damaged and 24 people injured in Mississippi when two tornados hit the state on March 25 and 26.
A tornado is a violently rotating storm that commonly occurs in central U.S. between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians. Most last less than 10 minutes, but they can be extremely destructive.
According to Roger Edwards from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, people living in affected areas should know where to seek shelter and practice tornado drills at least once a year.
He dispels a common myth about opening windows to equalize pressure. In fact, doing so during a tornado only increases the risk of being injured by flying glass. When hiding in a shelter or a basement, widows should also be avoided.
Vehicles are extremely dangerous in a tornado as they can be violently tossed about. It is best to exit a car or a truck and move away from it. Similarly, it is a mistake to seek shelter under a bridge which offers little protection against flying debris.
When out in the open, individuals should seek shelter in a sturdy building. If that is not possible, they should lie face-down on low ground, protecting the back of the head, and make sure they are away from trees which may be blown onto them.