Updated: Monday, 20 Apr 2009, 9:31 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 26 Apr 2002, 8:18 AM EST
If you're ever caught inside a building when a storm hits, Professor Jim Abernathy is the man you want to be with.
Professor Abernathy teaches architecture at Lawrence Technological University near Detroit . He's spent thirty years researching what happens when severe weather strikes a building. He also helps schools and public facilities create "severe weather plans". Abernathy says some of the responsibility for our safety lies with the people who operate these buildings, and they should have a "severe weather plan" in place for protecting the rest of us.
But if you're at a mall or movie theater you can't rely on others to sound the alarm if severe weather threatens. You have to protect yourself. You can start by listening to the weather forecast. "If you're going to be in a mall for 1/2 hour be aware of what has been forecast for that 1/2 hour. If you're going into a movie for a couple of hours be aware before you walk in about the potential for severe weather," says Abernathy.
If a tornado or severe storm strikes while you're inside an office building , hospital or skyscraper, do the following:
If you're inside a shopping mall, again an interior room is your best bet for safety. Remember to stay away from windows. If you're trapped in a church or theater get under the seats or pews and protect your head with your arms.