14 News Special Report: Tornado Survival Test - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

14 News Special Report: Tornado Survival Test

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Even with the lack of major injuries from Sunday's storms, there's always more we can do to stay safe during severe weather.

Employees at WAMW-Radio in Washington, IN knew they should not have been standing next to windows when the storm approached, but the sight was mesmerizing.

By the time debris started to fly by the window, only seven seconds passed when a building across the parking lot was destroyed.

Three seconds later, they ran from the window with only three more seconds to spare before the EF-2 tornado hit the station shattering windows and heavily damaging the building.

"It just happened so fast," said Dave Crooks, the President of FLC Media WAMW AM/FM Radio. 

In fact, the storm bared down for only four seconds at the radio station.

Thankfully employees took cover just in time and nobody was hurt.

"I knew the safest spot in the radio station was near our bank vault safe," said Dave. "As I crouched down in the corner, I could feel what felt like the wall was about to fall on me."

The employees at WAMW did a lot of things right, but there's always room for improvement.

Here's what you need to know before, during and after a storm:

  • Prepare an emergency kit beforehand and make a plan with your family.
  • Listen to local media and have your weather radio on and ready.
  • Leave mobile and manufactured homes. Go into reinforced structures.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions such as dark, sometimes greenish looking skies.
  • During a storm, if a warning is issued or even if weather is threatening when there is no warning, take cover immediately.
  • Go to an interior room with no windows on the lowest floor.
  • Most injuries are due to flying debris like glass from windows. Don't get caught up watching the storm, that can be a deadly mistake.
  • If your in your car, try to drive to the closest shelter. If that's not possible, pull over and find a ditch to lie in. Never take cover under an overpass or bridge where debris gathers and winds are more intense.

One that's not often talked about: what to do after you've survived a storm.

  • First, check for injuries and get help for those who are hurt.
  • Look for gas leaks and down power lines, both of which are common after storms. Report them to an official as soon as you can.
  • As you walk through damaged areas, watch where you step. This sound simple, but a study after an Illinois tornado showed that 50% of tornado related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts and clean-up efforts.
  • Contact family members to alert them of your whereabouts and condition.
  • When safe to do so, also contact your insurance provider to begin the clean-up and rebuilding process.

Most Tri-Staters appeared to have done the right thing on Sunday, as only one minor injury was reported in the half-a-dozen tornadoes reported.

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