By Lisa Meadows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Before severe weather hits, it’s important to know where your safe place is, and the different factors you need to consider to be ready for the storm.

It’s been 54 years, but Dennis Careful remembers the 1965 tornado outbreak like it was yesterday, and how he survived.

“The roof was gone and I could hear people screaming. I could hear them from upstairs,” Careful said. “That’s what they told us, ‘Southwest corner!’ And that’s what we did and that’s what pretty much everyone in our neighborhood did.”

We’ve been told for years the safest place to go during a tornado is the basement, but the southwest corner may not be the safest place.

“You just don’t really know which way the tornado is coming from or which way the strongest winds are coming from, you know they are rotating in a circle around that tornado,” said Eric Ahasic of the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities.

If you had to go to your basement to take shelter right now, do you know where in the basement you would go? If there is a window in the southwest corner, you want to pick another corner, a place where there isn’t a heavy appliance on the floor above you and preferably underneath a sturdy table.

If you don’t have a basement, then get to the ground floor of your home and choose an interior room.

If you’re in a downtown high rise, try to get to the lowest level but do not take the elevator to get there, take the stairs. Find an inner room or a hallway with no windows.

Mobiles homes are a particularly dangerous place to be during a tornado. The state of Minnesota has a law that requires mobile home parks to have a storm shelter or an evacuation plan. If you live in a mobile home park and we are highlighting the chance of tornadoes in the forecast stay weather aware so you have enough time to get to your safe place.

We’re currently in the longest stretch without a confirmed, major tornado on record, but it only takes one EF-3 to break that record.

Lisa Meadows