Do you know how to find your safe place in a storm? - CBS46 News

Do you know how to find your safe place in a storm?

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Multiple tornados have struck metro Atlanta since March. They've destroyed homes and changed lives. When there are watches and warnings you often hear our meteorologists say to take cover and go to your safe place to ride out the storm.

When severe weather strikes do you know how to keep your family safe? What's the safest place in your home?  

The most important thing ahead of severe weather is having a plan and a safe place to go, and to make sure everyone in your family knows the plan.  Going to a safe place has proven to save lives.

In 2011, an EF-3 tornado pulled a 13-year-old girl right out of her Spalding County bedroom. Her room had two outdoor walls, which blew off. She ended up out of the home and on the lawn.

Last year, when a tornado ripped through Paulding County, a family of three survived by hiding in a small interior hall closet while the walls of their home crumbled around them.

They are constant reminders that being in a safe place can save lives.

Reporter Jennifer Mayerle helped Joe and Courtney Sowerby, and their daughter Amelia, find their safe place.

When there's severe weather, Joe Sowerby tracks it.

"We watch it on the news, track it on the phone, iPpad, whatever we have handy," Joe Sowerby said.

They looked for a safe place on the first floor of the home.

"I think we would huddle in this hallway here, because we can shut the bathroom door and not be near any windows or possibly the laundry room. I thought this might be another option just because it's off the main room," Courtney Sowerby said, showing Mayerle the laundry room.

Mayerle pointed out the outdoor wall.

"One of the things that people want to keep in mind when picking a safe room is making sure you're putting as many barriers between you and the outdoors as possible, so you never want to pick a room that has an outdoor wall," Mayerle said.

The safest place for the Sowerby's on the first floor is the interior hallway. Every other room has a window or an exterior wall. The family has another, safer option. It's the ultimate safe place in a home.

"Given the opportunity, we'll go to the basement. Our safe place is this little alcove we have right over here. No doors, no windows, surrounded by concrete, it's pretty much underground," Joe Sowerby said.

And most importantly, they've shared their plan with 3-year-old Amelia.

"We stay downstairs down low, so that's why bad weather can't come down there. We close the door, we slam it and then we're safe," Amelia Sowerby said.

The Sowerby's are aware of what they should bring to the basement with them.

"Definitely water, maybe a blanket or towel," Joe Sowerby said.

Add flashlights, a weather radio, snacks, first aid kit and charged cell phones, and the Sowerby's are ready.

Another tip is to get a whistle for each family member. That way if you're separated during a storm or become trapped, your family or emergency responders will have an easier time finding you.

Mobile homes may be the most dangerous place to be in case of severe weather. Most can't sustain the winds. The best advice is to make a plan before severe weather arrives. Find a shelter that's open, or coordinate with family or a friend, and head to their home ahead of when severe weather is heading your way.

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