SURVIVE THE STORM: Why some people don't take shelter

Published: Apr. 3, 2017 at 8:29 PM CDT
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Do you know some people don't take shelter when severe weather is on their door step? We're looking at why and what needs to be done to motivate them to find safety.

"I go in to my bathroom that is enclosed. I put pillows in my bath tub. My dog and I climb in there," said Glen Shipley.

“Before kids I’d just kind of would wait out the storm, but now since having kids it’s just not me and my wife that we’re looking after. We have to protect our family. So it’s a lot easier for us to justify hey we need to seek out shelter,” said Nick Whistance.

We asked several people what they do and everyone said they'd seek shelter when the warning is issued, but we know there are people who don't.

Dr. Laura Myers, a social scientist, has been interviewing tornado survivors for the past six years.

“It tends to be elderly people, people who live alone. People who don’t feel like they have options,” said Dr. Laura Myers.

“I think it sounds more like a pride thing with where they’ve lived. Like ‘Tornadoes have come through here all the time and hasn’t knocked my house over yet. I’ll be here after the storms are over with’," said Andrew Couch, Springfield resident.

“They use the religious aspect of it and say if it’s my time god is choosing it’s my time. Or god’s going to protect me,” Myers said.

Myers says the main issue is many people just don't know there's a safe spot in their home, nearby, or even where to go during a storm.

“If they live in apartments, If they’ll go under a stairwell and get underneath a stairwell and so we’ll tell them about that and they’re shocked that there could be a strong safe place in the building that they’re in,” Myers explained.

The time to figure out where that safe place is, is right now way before the storm hits. Don't wait until you can see the tornado.

.“The father went to the door to see if the tornadoes were coming and that’s one of the biggest problems, issues," Myers said. "People wait until they can see. They want visual confirmation.”

Even if it's an active season and you've had to go that shelter over and over again don't take the chance.

“A lot of people decided well this isn’t going to impact me," Myers. "So, I’m not going to take action because I’m tired of trying to do this.”

That's why Myers meets with people. To teach them where to take shelter and also how to get weather alerts. Alerts like from our weather app, our website, on air, and our KSPR Facebook page.

“A lot of times that information can be pushed out through social media outlets a day in advance, couple of days in advance and give that information about preparation, planning, and sheltering,” said Myers.

"You have to take things into your hands and prepare yourself because yes it might be your time, but you don't need to rush it," Shipley said.

Another big thing, many people who haven't seen a storm in a long time let down their guard. Don't let that happen to you. Think about it right now. Where would you and your family go during a tornado? Figure it out so later you can survive the storm.