The Springfield and Branson, MO area is no stranger to thunderstorms, tornadoes and floods and if you’ve lived here your whole life you might think you know everything about severe weather do’s and don’ts. While ServiceMaster DSI usually deals with disaster restoration in the aftermath of storm damage, we have this little challenge for you: Can you separate these severe weather facts from popularly-believed fiction?
According to the National Weather Service, the following are the top myths surrounding severe weather in the United States.
Myth: It’s a good idea to seek shelter from a tornado under a highway overpass.
Fact: Overpasses actually accelerate tornado winds and make them more dangerous. People have been killed and severely injured while waiting out tornadoes under overpasses.
Myth: Opening all the windows will equalize the atmospheric pressure imbalance caused by a tornado and protect your house from damage.
Fact: Since a tornado’s strong winds cause the most structural damage, opening the winds will do you no good. It’s a better idea to use the time you have to move to a safe area before the tornado hits.
Myth: Severe storms and tornadoes usually travel from west to east.
Fact: While most storms do follow this pattern of movement, they can move in any direction. Tornadoes, in fact, are known to change speed and direction very quickly and erratically.
Myth: If the skies are clear and it’s not raining yet, you are still safe from lightning even when storms are approaching.
Fact: It’s rare, but lightning strikes can occur in a 10-15 mile radius from the storm so you should still seek shelter when thunderstorms are on the horizon.
Myth: You are totally safe from lightning when inside your house.
Fact: It is certainly safer than being outside but you could still be injured if lightning strikes your home or nearby power lines. Telephone lines, electrical appliances, plumbing and metal windows or doorframes can all conduct lightning and should thus be avoided.
Myth: You can safely drive through deep floodwaters in a SUV or other large, heavy vehicle.
Fact: Just 2 feet of water is enough to make SUVs and most other vehicles float, and if the water is moving swiftly your car will easily be carried away if you try to drive through it.
Myth: Flash floods happen only near flowing streams.
Fact: If the rain comes down too hard and fast for the ground to soak it up, flash floods can also occur in dry river beds and urban areas.
Clearly, there is a lot of misinformation out there about staying safe when severe weather strikes. Here’s one last fact for you: ServiceMaster DSI is a reputable disaster restoration company that can help you recover from damage to your home caused by storms, tornadoes and flooding. If you are in need of water damage restoration, mold remediation or construction services, call ServiceMaster DSI at 888-868-6601 for help.