Why the proper shelter matters during a tornado

TAKE A LOOK: We've all seen the devastating images coming in from the deadly tornado outbreak that struck parts of Alabama and Georgia this past weekend. 23 people lost their lives and 97 people were injured.

This event is a good reminder as to why manufactured/mobile homes and vehicles are not adequate shelter during a tornado, regardless of strength. These type of structures should be abandoned during any tornado event.

To put things into perspective, the total path that this powerful EF4 tornado traveled was nearly 70 miles. That's roughly equal to the same distance if you were to travel through both Lee and Whiteside Counties.

At one point the maximum width of the tornado reached an impressive 1600 yards. That's equal to a huge stretch of 1st Avenue in Rock Falls, stretching from Hardee's to the new Casey's at the intersection of Route 30. Can you imagine the amount of devastation if something like that were to happen here?

The safest place you can be during an event like this is underground. If you live in a manufactured/mobile home, and the risk of severe weather is in the forecast, it's not a bad idea to relocate to a sturdier structure, like a friend or relatives home BEFORE the storms develop/arrive. Don't wait until the very last minute to make a move. Technology has improved remarkably in just the last decade alone allowing forecasters to now give several days notice when life-threatening weather is expected to strike.

Make a severe weather action plan and stick to it. Do not try and ride out the storm in shelters like the ones shown here. As you can see, they have deadly consequences.