For 13 members of the Hardy family in rural, isolated Calhoun County, there was no time to come up with a survival plan when the tornado came.
As their mobile homes were ripping apart, 51-year-old Tammy Hardy stumbled into the dark of the raging night with her children and grandchildren into a hollow where they huddled around a clump of three small trees.
They tied the three youngest children so they wouldn't blow away.
Under normal circumstances, Jeremy Hardy said he would never think of tying up his children.
He says: "I didn't really have time to think of anything else. I just put it all in God's hands."
Their story of an unlikely survival is one of thousands across the storm-ravaged areas.
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