GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The people in Moore, Oklahoma, had just minutes to run for cover before a tornado swept over their town Monday. The National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma gave a warning 16 minutes before the tornado touched down.
That's actually more warning than the average. The average warning ahead of a tornado is 13 minutes.
"It's from when the warning is issued to when a confirmed tornado has begun," TJ Turnage of Grand Rapids' National Weather Service office told 24 Hour News 8.
The NWS maintains if there is another large tornado, like the one in Hudsonville in 1956, it's easier to give warning because they show up more clearly on radar.
The tricky part in West Michigan, Turnage said, is that the area generally has weaker tornadoes. Those are tougher to give a good warning because they form quickly and don't last that long.
Gary Szotko of Kent County's Emergency Management said there are ways you can keep your family safe.
Inside your home or work, Szotko said you should go to a basement if you can. If not, then you should find an interior room. In most cases, that's a bathroom.
If you're driving around buildings, Szotko recommends going inside and finding an interior room. If you're driving in a rural area, he says you should stop the car and get as low to the ground as you can -- preferably in a ditch far from the road.
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