TULSA - The widest EF-5 tornado ever recorded struck El Reno, Oklahoma on May 31, 2013.
It killed 18 people including four storm chasers .
Mike Bettes and his crew from The Weather Channel were chasing the storm when it unexpectedly turned and headed right for his chase vehicle.
"There became a moment when we realized we were going to be overtaken and I think at that point our whole crew, just the only thing on our mind was just survive this, get through this, you know duck down, cover your head, get your seatbelt on and let's just ride this out because we don't have any other choice," said Bettes.
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Research shared at the National Tornado Summit earlier this month in Oklahoma City showed that 80 percent of the deaths from the El Reno tornado were from people getting out of their car.
That brings debate. Many say abandoning a car and lying in a ditch is safer than staying in the car. For Bettes, his mind is made up.
"I think you're just exposed to too many things when you're outside of any type of shelter. I don't think that a car's the best shelter by any means, but at least it's something," he said.
The El Reno tornado also brought criticism on tornado chasers.
Backlash included too many chasers taking too many chances. Bettes says it's a catch 22. Chasers are needed as long as they focus on safety.
Today we get our warnings from cell phones with apps like our Storm Shield Weather Radio app , weather radios or websites. But a recent report showed 70 percent still get their warning from television stations. There's truth in seeing is believing.
"Seeing that visual confirmation is what everyone wants," said Bettes. "You've got a camera on your dash and it's pointed at the tornado, suddenly that person at home says, 'Oh, that's a tornado...I'm going to my basement.'"