Watch: Couple Have Seconds to React as Tornado Barrels Toward Vehicle - They Had No Shelter
Many people think of spring as tornado season, but tornados can occur at any time of year.
Just ask a couple who travel around the country in an RV.
Zachary and Ally Peck-Chapman had to make a quick escape as a tornado rampaged through an RV park in Orange, Texas, on Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
“We feel blessed to be alive and to have our tiny home on wheels intact,” Zachary Peck-Chapman said.
He managed to catch some brief footage of the wild winds and pounding rain before turning to Ally and apparently telling her they had to get out of the RV right away.
She can be seen grabbing a blanket and pulling one of their dogs through the RV door.
The couple and their pets raced to a nearby ditch and jumped in.
“A tornado hits a few hundred feet from the van. With no shelter nearby, we headed for the ditch… Scariest moment of our life… We are safe & blessed,” they said on their Twitter account, Nomadic Habits.
A tornado hits a few hundred feet from the van. With no shelter nearby, we headed for the ditch… Scariest moment of our life… We are safe & blessed #vanlife #tornado #tornadoes #TornadoWatch #severeweather #travelblogger #travelling #traveler #gulfcoast #texas #OrangeCounty pic.twitter.com/muN3lpCZtl
— Nomadic Habits (@nomadic_habits_) January 25, 2023
One commenter asked why they didn’t watch the weather radar so they’d be better informed of the approaching storm.
“We had been watching the radar. But we’re not from here, we’re traveling for work at the moment. This particular tornado was not detected on the radar until it was right on us. We’re not the only ones who stayed in the park. This is not the whole story, just a piece of it,” Nomadic Habits replied.
The couple later shared a 19-minute video showing what happened before their viral escape.
If someone is in a mobile home as a tornado is approaching, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends getting out.
It’s a much better situation to be in a sturdy shelter or underground if possible, according to NOAA.
However, if a person is in a vehicle and shelter cannot be found, it’s recommended to drive away from the tornado at right angles. For example, if it seems to be heading east, drive south if possible, The Weather Channel advised.
Contrary to what may be a popular belief, taking shelter under a bridge or overpass is a bad idea because you are then a stationary target for flying debris.
In addition, ditches, culvers and ravines should only be used as a last resort when a sturdy shelter can’t be found. If that’s the case, lie down flat with your arms covering your head and neck. Use a blanket or coat to cover the head and neck if those items are available.
If you are in a building, go to the basement. If there isn’t a basement, the most interior room on the lowest level of the building, ideally without windows, will be the safest place.
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