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Astounding photo shows boy surviving Oklahoma tornado

Tornadoes have been sweeping across the Midwest this week, and one boy was home alone when his Norman, Oklahoma, neighborhood was struck.

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A photo, captured by Todd Lindley with the National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office, shows the value of heeding tornado safety rules.

"This young man was home alone and survived. In this case advice to shelter in small room, middle of home worked," NWS Norman tweeted Tuesday.

Related: Incredible tornado photos from Monday’s outbreak

According to the National Weather Service, in the event of a tornado, families should pick a "tornado safe room," such as a storm cellar, basement or "interior room on the lowest floor with no windows," which is often a bathroom in many homes.

Oklahoma teen tweets hanging cross amid tornado debris

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A tornado ripped through parts of Oklahoma, destroying homes and leaving at least one person dead. But amid the destruction, one image is being shared across social media that is bringing hope in the affected community.   A high school student named Chase Rhodes from Moore, Oklahoma took a picture of a power pole Wednesday that was left hanging in the form of a cross surrounded by destruction. He captioned the tweet,“God is with us,” and it has been retweeted and shared thousands of times.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Capt. Billy McKelvey said one person was killed in the mobile home park in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs, which he said could accommodate 40 to 50 trailers.   "It could have been much worse," he said.

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A National Weather Service meteorologist said survey teams would be sent to assess the damage Thursday but that it was likely a twister that hit Sand Springs.   Oklahoma Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman Keli Cain said at least nine people were hospitalized with injuries but that the total number of injuries wasn't yet known.   The small twister swept across parts of Moore, the area where 24 people died in a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado in 2013. Other twisters formed along a line from southwest of Oklahoma City to east of Tulsa, and some touched down in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas.   Power utilities reported just over 20,000 power outages Thursday morning, down from nearly 80,000 Wednesday night.

AAA of Oklahoma Emergency Kit

The following severe weather tips are provided by AAA Insurance of Oklahoma, for the ones that matter most to you.

Click HERE to register to win a Jim Giles Certified Safe Room from AAA Insurance of Oklahoma.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms which can produce tornadoes in and close to the watch area. If you are in a watch area keep informed of the latest weather information. These storms can develop rapidly so there may be occasions when advance warning is not possible. Put your shoes on and review your severe weather plan with your family. Make sure your safe room is open and ready in case you and your family need to take cover.

A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by radar. If you are in the path or near the tornado, take immediate actions to protect life and property. Get to your safe place now!

Follow these safety rules:

  • In open country: find a ditch, culvert or other low area and lay down flat. Cover your head with your hands for protection.
  • In small homes or small building: go to the basement or to a small interior closet. Use heavy furniture for shelter or cover yourself with a mattress or blanket.
  • In mobile homes or vehicles: abandon it and go to a substantial structure or place of safety. Never try to out run a tornado in an automobile.
  • In schools, hospitals, factories or shopping centers: go to designated shelter areas. Interior halls or the lowest levels are usually best. Stay away from gymnasiums or auditoriums. Avoid all outside walls and windows.

The key to tornado survival is to be prepared and take immediate action when a warning is issued or when you feel threatened.

Safe Place Kit

  • Battery-powered TV or radio
  • Snacks and treats for your children
  • Flash light
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra shoes

During Thunderstorms

  • Stay inside and away from windows
  • Avoid using appliances
  • Stay away from water
Click HERE to register to win a Jim Giles Certified Safe Room from AAA Insurance of Oklahoma.

Jim Giles' CERTIFIED Safe Rooms, are a pre-manufactured, reinforced steel above ground tornado shelter/safe room that allows you and your family to quickly seek shelter during a tornado warning. Rated to withstand an EF5 tornado (winds at 250 mph), you and your family will be safe with a Jim Giles' CERTIFIED Safe Room in your home, garage, shop, office or outside. All you need is a reinforced concrete slab to anchor the safe room and you are good to go for tornado season. No more sleepless nights worrying about a tornado watch or anxious moments when the kids are home alone in the afternoon during severe weather season. They ALL have a safe place to go with a Jim Giles' CERTIFIED Safe Room.

Scenes of devastation from Oklahoma town

Midwest, Plains hammered by tornadoes

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