Staying Out Of A Twister's Way

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 6:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- With all the stories about tornadoes wreaking havoc around the country this spring, we have some tips on staying safe in a storm.

We take you inside three very different Fort Wayne residences, and show you the best places to run for cover.

We recruited Fort Wayne Fire Department Captain Travis Hostler to provide insight on the places to hide, and not to hide.

Our first stop is Molly Spake's ranch on the northside of town.

When Hostler, a trainer on the department, finds out there's no basement, he quickly zeroes in on one end of the home.

Capt. Travis Hostler/Ft. Wayne Fire Trainer: " This walk-in closet would work well. The bathroom off your master bedroom would be good. And then the bathroom on the other side of this wall, which is also in the center of the house."

Molly Spake/Homeowner: " I've always been told to go to the center of the house, where there's no windows and try to get as low as you can, and there's no windows in there, so we've always just taken blankets in there and that's where we go."

Another piece of advice, take something soft, like a mattress, into your place of refuge.

Capt. Hostler/Ft. Wayne Fire Trainer: " Just so if there would be any flying debris in there, that you have something that is going to serve as a barrier between you and whatever that object is."

Next we visit a two-story house in Aboite Township.

Susan: " I do have a basement."

Hostler: "Okay, can we see it?"

Susan: " Sure."

The homeowner, Susan, takes us to a mechanical room downstairs, home to the furnace and water heater.

Hostler: " Other than finding a place to sit and way to cover yourself in case of flying debris, this is a perfect room."

Another option, ducking under the heavy pool table that sits nearby.

Jeff Neumeyer: " Our third stop, the Willows of Coventry Apartment complex, a unit on the first floor."

Again, the bathroom is Travis' number one option for Georgie, the tenant in the unit we tour.

For folks in a second or third floor unit, he suggests getting out, possibly fleeing to the complex clubhouse offering more protection.

Hostler: " If you have time to, after the warning, get your stuff, gather your family together and make it down to a central location like that, that would be the best thing."

Remember; devise your strategy now, rather than improvising when the storm clouds are raging.

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