Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sherman-Morris, Kathleen.

Committee Member

Gutter, Barrett F.

Committee Member

Brown, Michael E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Professional Meteorology/Climatology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Tornadoes are always dangerous, but inside a motor vehicle they are especially problematic due to an automobile’s smaller size and structure. Tornado fatalities in motor vehicles have not decreased in recent years despite downward trends in total tornado fatalities. Receiving tornado warnings is difficult inside a motor vehicle, particularly when alone in the vehicle. Controlled access highways are also difficult places to find shelter as access is limited to interchanges, while buildings at interchanges may not be able to withstand an intense tornado. Electronic signs and audible messages on mobile communications devices are the most suitable technologies available for reaching motorists. At each interchange, shelters capable of withstanding a violent tornado should be constructed or retrofitted, allowing motorists – and nearby residents – a safe place to shelter nearby. Constructing such shelters will take considerable time and significant cost but will go a long way towards the goal of a Weather-Ready Nation.