WICHITA, Kansas – Some believe the southwest corner of the basement is the safest place during a tornado.
So, we asked KSN viewers if they believe that statement is true or false.
“I’d say true because it’s the wall closest to where the storm is coming from,” said John Harrison.
“That’s the least safe place you should be because it might collapse or something,” said Judy Streeter.RELATED LINKS| National Weather Service tornado safety | What to do during a tornado | Tornado safety infographic
But in reality, no corner is safer than the other. Walls, floors, and furniture can collapse or be blown into any area of a home.
The idea that the southwest corner is safest is an old myth based on the belief that tornadoes typically come from the southwest meaning debris will fall into the northeast side of the basement.
There are several problems with this myth.RELATED LINK | May 4, 2007 tornado devastates Greensburg
For example, look at the picture from the Greensburg tornado. We are looking toward the northeast and here is the southwest corner of the home.
The photo shows the home actually fell straight down into the southwest corner into the basement where people believe is the safest place.
Tornadoes are not straight-line winds. The strongest winds may be blowing from any direction, and most importantly, tornadoes can arrive from any direction.
When it comes to safety in a basement, don’t worry about a specific corner.
Instead, the safest place is under a table, mattress, or other sturdy object.
Also, think about what’s on the floor above you like whether or not there’s a heavy appliance, like a dishwasher or refrigerator.