John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A twister ripped apart every piece of this house, except the tiny room this kid was standing in.
In the unfortunate event your neighborhood is ever under a National Weather Service tornado warning, here’s why you should always, always seek a safe space: A twister can shred your home into a flying splinter storm, but if you’ve sheltered wisely, you just might make it out alive.
That’s what happened to this lucky dude during a tornado Monday in Oklahoma. The weather service’s office in Norman writes:
We ran across this young man about 5 miles northwest of Sulphur, OK who was home alone at the time of the tornado. He was able to survive by doing exactly what we always tell people to do—he went to a small room in the center of his home away from outside walls and windows. He walked away without a scratch. There are no guarantees when it comes to tornado safety, but in most cases, the advice works!
Meanwhile, the service’s Memphis branch offers this comment: “This is a perfect example of why we tell you to head to the lowest floor of a structure and ‘PUT AS MANY WALLS AS YOU CAN’ between you and the outside. #TornadoSafety #TornadoSheltering.”
The fact this guy survived unscathed is made more incredible given the violence of the skies. Here’s some more images of what was popping around Oklahoma that day (also see this footage of a flying house at 0:19):